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Heated debates will pose no problem, says Azad

Special Correspondent

Government will have no problem discussing all issues raised in Parliament

NEW DELHI: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad expects that the monsoon session of Parliament starting Monday will be a ``smooth affair'' as the main Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said it will not continue with the ``boycott'' of the House.

Mr. Azad on Friday said the Government would have "no problem" discussing all issues the Opposition might raise and wish to discuss

He was talking to reporters after Speaker Somnath Chatterjee hosted lunch to United Progressive Alliance leaders here. The Speaker had met BJP leaders over lunch a few days ago and he also had a meeting with chief whips.

If heated debates were witnessed between the treasury and opposition benches, that would also pose no problem. For, ``Parliament was [meant] for heated exchanges,'' said Mr. Azad.

The guests at the luncheon meet on Friday were Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee (Congress), Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party), Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Jan Shakti Party) and D.P. Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal), besides Mr. Azad.

As part of his effort to ensure the smooth functioning of the House, Mr. Chatterjee invited to dinner National Democratic Alliance Chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani and two other NDA leaders Prabhunath Singh and B.K. Tripathi.

A few days ago Mr. Azad indicated that the Government would bring in for passingthe National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, which was introduced in the winter session and sent to a standing committee. The Congress in its manifesto assured a minimum of 100 days of employment to at least one adult in each family and the promise was enshrined in the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA.

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