Modi’s Request

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the press ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi, Jan. 29. Modi requested that MPs set aside politics and work together to pass important legislation. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi Jan. 29 made a "humble request" to all members of Parliament, asking them to transcend party politics and help the government pass the triple talaq bill, as well as ensure healthy debates during the Budget Session so that the new budget will provide the maximum economic benefit possible to Dalits and poor farmers.

Speaking to reporters outside of Parliament, Modi said the government had made efforts during the Winter Session of Parliament to fulfill the nation's "high hopes" that politics wouldn’t affect crucial issues like the triple talaq bill, which criminalizes verbal instant divorce practiced by Muslim husbands. The legislation was stalled in the Rajya Sabha after the Lok Sabha cleared it.

He said despite the Supreme Court’s orders, the triple talaq bill could not be passed by Parliament and Muslim women were denied their rights.

"I hope and I make a humble request to all political parties across the country to join hands in passing the triple talaq bill to protect the rights of Muslim women. It will indeed be the best gift of 2018, in the new year for the Muslim women."

He said the Budget Session, which began Jan. 28, was also crucial as the entire global community was very optimistic about the Indian economy, citing "positive opinion about the growth of India and the road ahead" by global credit rating agencies, the World Bank and the IMF.

Modi said the budget would provide new energy to India’s fast-growing economy and fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the common man. 

He said the budget is a bipartisan practice where "the national interest is above the political interests."

"Cutting across party lines, even MPs from the ruling party highlights its short comings while members of opposition highlight its salient feature. In a way it provides for a healthy environment and atmosphere for debate and discussion."

He urged all political parties to utilize the practice of debate in standing committee meetings and ensure that common people benefit the most from the budget.

"Our objective should be to reach out to the Dalits, oppressed, underprivileged and to those who did not have any access to these benefits. 

"We also need to see how the villagers, poor, farmers and laborers are benefited maximum from the budget. Let's have a detailed discussion, come out with positive suggestions and make a road map to march ahead."

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