Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the opposition on Monday to stop worrying about numbers abd said that every word of the opposition was important and all efforts should be made for a ” nishpaksh” (non-partisan) approach to issues of public welfare and the larger interest of India.
His remarks at the start of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha echo his announcement on Sunday of a meeting of leaders of all parties and an informal interaction of MPs, in what is seen as a bid to break the ice after a bitter poll campaign.
“The opposition should stop worrying about numbers. The people have given them a certain number. Every word of the opposition is important. When it comes to Parliament, we should forget the ruling side and opposition. We should think of issues with a nishpakshspirit,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said an active and effective opposition is a necessity in a democracy and pointed out that a well- argued and factual criticism of the government strengthens democracy. “Sometimes such positive contributions are not noticed as they do not get high TRPs,” he said. Though he did not mention the media, he said highlighting such efforts would strengthen the functioning of Parliament.
Modi noted that the recent elections have yielded several firsts such as the highest number of voters exercising their franchise since Independence, a high number of women voters and a higher representation for women in Parliament. “It is also after several decades that a government has been re-elected with a bigger majority,” he said.
Referring to his recent speeches, the Prime Minister said that “we started with ‘ sab ka saath, sab ka vikas‘, but the people have added an unprecedented ‘vishwas’ (trust) to the matter”. He said Monday marks the the start of the first session after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “I welcome all new MPs. With them comes new hope, new aspirations and new determination to serve,” he said.