National interest should be kept above all, PM tells opposition

New Delhi:Stressing that national interest should be kept above all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought cooperation from opposition parties for smooth conduct of business during the monsoon session of parliament. At an all-party meeting called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, he also welcomed suggestions for extending the sittings of parliament, an official statement here said. It said he urged all the political parties to keep national interest above any other considerations. "We represent both the people and parties and there is a need to keep national interest above anything else," Modi said, calling for passage of important bills including the GST. "Important bills, including the GST Bill, are to be taken up during the monsoon session beginning tomorrow (Monday)," the prime minister said expressing hope that there would be meaningful discussions and outcomes during the coming session. Referring to introduction of GST, he noted that the issue was not about which government would get the credit for its introduction but the bill's passage. Responding to suggestions from some leaders for increasing the sittings of Parliament, Modi said he welcomed the suggestion and urged them to ensure proper utilisation of the available time.  Terming the meeting "fruitful", Ananth Kumar said all parties desired smooth functioning of parliament. He also said that the government will talk to all opposition parties on the GST bill. "We are talking to all parties and will talk in future as well on the GST and other bills. We want to create a consensus," he said. "In today's (Sunday) meeting, the government told various political leaders that we want to run the house and need their support in this regard. All parties, including the Congress, said they will support us in running the house and support the bills on merit. We will create a consensus," he said.