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Impasse in Parliament ends, Manmohan relieved

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BOOK TALK: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh autographs a copy of the book, `The Cultural Heritage of India Volume VII (Part One)' for the editor, Kapila Vatsyayan, in New Delhi on Saturday.
BOOK TALK: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh autographs a copy of the book, `The Cultural Heritage of India Volume VII (Part One)' for the editor, Kapila Vatsyayan, in New Delhi on Saturday.

  • "Take a more liberal view of the outside world"
  • SP accuses Congress of involvement in `political conspiracy'

    New Delhi: Airing his disquiet over the disruption of Parliament since the commencement of the budget session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said he was "relieved" that the impasse has ended.

    "If Parliament does not function, it is not a source of rejoicing," Dr. Singh told reporters when asked about the deadlock in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with the Opposition stalling proceedings over the issues of Ottavio Quattrocchi's detention in Argentina and the CBI probe against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh.

    The BJP-led Oposition accused the government of initiating a "cover-up" by not acting swiftly to secure the extradition of the 69-year-old Quattrocchi.

    Calm was restored after Dr. Singh assured Parliament that he was ready for a discussion on the issue and that the CBI had full freedom to pursue the case.

    "I am relieved... I am happy that the crisis has come to an end."

    The Samajwadi Party, which withdrew support to the UPA at the Centre, also disrupted proceedings and accused the Congress of involvement in a "political conspiracy" behind the CBI inquiry to probe charges of disproportionate assets against Mr. Mulayam Singh.

    The Prime Minister was dismissive of the tirade launched by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, saying "there is no basis in his allegation".

    Decrying the tendency to be suspicious of foreign influences, Dr. Singh asked people to take a more liberal view of the outside world while deriving confidence from the "greatness of our past".

    "Why should we be inward-looking and suspicious of foreign influences when we have so much to offer the world?" he wondered while releasing the book Cultural Heritage of India edited by art historian Kapila Vatsyayan (Photograpgh on Page 10).

    Emphasising the need to defeat forces that believed in an "exclusivist" culture, he asked "people to take a more liberal view of the outside world".

    Dr. Singh contested remarks in the media by some who thought that China was a closed society with an open mind and held the reverse true for India.

    "This should not be the case. We must derive confidence from the greatness of our past to be able to deal more confidently with the present and the challenges of the future," he said.

    Dr. Singh also spoke about the pluralistic values of Indian culture, which he said, proved resilient enough to withstand the test of time and impact of change. PTI


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