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Modi Govt ready to discuss all issues, including article 356: Venkaiah Naidu

NEW DELHI(PTI): In the wake of frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha over the political crisis in Uttarakhand, government on Wednesday expressed readiness to discuss all issues, including the use of Article 356, and appealed to Opposition parties to allow Parliament to function.

“Government has no problem in discussing the Uttarakhand issue. The only problem is that the Supreme Court is hearing the case. The matter is sub-judice. It has never been the practice to discuss such a matter in the House. As far as the issue of Article 356 is concerned, there can be an opportunity because the Presidential proclamation has been placed on the table of the House. “The Presiding Officer of the House will take a call on when to discuss it. Why such noisy scenes are being created? I am not able to understand it. Lok Sabha is functioning but Rajya Sabha is not functioning at all. It is giving a wrong message,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Naidu’s assertion is significant amid indications that the government has decided to take rivals head-on on the issue, citing instances of states being placed under central rule when Congress, Janata Party and United Front were in power. On a day when BJP used the conviction of Italian officials linked to the VVIP chopper scam to target Congress and asked the then Defence Minister A K Antony to name the party leaders allegedly involved in the scandal, Naidu said the government is ready to discuss all issues, including the VVIP chopper deal.

“A notice has been received to discuss the AgustaWestland helicopter scam and some other issues. Government is ready to discuss each and every issue. We have nothing to hide. Please allow the Parliament to function,” the minister said.

Naidu hoped that Opposition parties, particularly Congress and the Left, realise that “this (disrupting House) is not going to help the system or the people. There are lot of other issues, including demands for grants of various ministries, which are to be discussed. Otherwise there will be guillotine. That is in nobody’s interest. “We are discussing so many other subjects. If you obstruct Parliament not allow Parliament to function, the casualty will be people’s interest,” he said.

Refusing to be drawn into the details of the AgustaWestland issue, Naidu said as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister he was only interested in the House discussing issue and “the government has no problem in accepting discussion on any issue”.

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