New Delhi, Dec 7: With the opposition's protest against the abusive remarks of union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti threatening to impact the legislative agenda of parliament's winter session, including those dealing with key economic reforms.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the pending bills were not of the government alone but of the country and the "arrogance" of the Congress will further hit the party.
Naqvi, 57, said that the opposition should give up its protest over the minister's remarks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement in the two houses of parliament.
"After the statement of the prime minister, I don't think there is anything left," Naqvi, the BJP's most prominent Muslim face, told IANS in an interview.
He also said that any "ninda prastav (condemnatory motion)" will be "unacceptable" to the government.
Nine opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha - Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal-U, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, DMK, CPI and Nationalist Congress Party - have issued a statement urging the government to accept a joint resolution condemning "inflammatory speeches."
Opposition parties have forced repeated adjournments of the Rajya Sabha since Tuesday, affecting its business.
The government does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha also has seen repeated protests. The opposition has said that it will carry on with the protests till its demand was met. The government has already ruled out the minister's resignation.
Naqvi said the government has been talking to floor leaders of parties on various issues and will continue to do so and added that the issue concerning Jyoti's remaks should be "closed."
"This issue (should be) closed. If the opposition has new demands (on other issues), we can work towards their solution," Naqvi told IANS.
Asked about the possibility of the government's legislative agenda suffering due to the opposition protests, Naqvi said that the "country is watching".
"Legislative agenda is not of the government (alone) but of the country. The reforms are for boosting the country' economy," Naqvi said.
Among the legislation the government appears keen on is the insurance laws amendment bill that seeks to enhance FDI limit in the sector to 49 percent.
Naqvi targeted the Congress, which is the largest opposition party in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, over the stalemate and alleged their attitude was damaging to the democratic discourse. "They have the depression of defeat (in the Lok Sabha and subsequent assembly polls). They still have the same attitude. Their arrogance and anarchy will further damage them," said Naqvi.
He said that the government wants to run parliament smoothly and the opposition should also play a constructive role. "We want constructive cooperation through communication and coordination," he said.
Naqvi, who is also minister of state for minority affairs, said that the government had taken steps to meet the demands of the opposition. "The minister apologised. Senior leaders of the party (BJP) disapproved the remarks. The prime minster also gave a statement and said that he strongly disapproves the remarks," he said.
He said it has been a tradition that if an "unacceptable remark" is made, the member apologises and parliament moves ahead with its business.
Jyoti, who is minister of state for food processing industries, reportedly said at a public meeting in Delhi: "Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki." (You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by the children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children). Delhi will face assembly polls in the next few months.
Asked about the achievements of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which has completed six months in office, Naqvi said that there was now an "atmosphere of good governance".
"The brokers in the corridors of power have vanished. The atmosphere of corruption and scams has ended. There is an atmosphere of good governance. There was an atmosphere of negativity during UPA rule and the atmosphere is positive now," Naqvi said.
Asked about the opposition allegations that the government has not been able to fulfill its commitments on bringing back black money, giving remunerative prices to farmers and creating jobs, Naqvi said that the BJP-led government had been elected for five years.
"We will meet our commitments," the minister asserted.