Prime Minister Narendra Modi today sought the opposition’s cooperation for a constructive Winter Session of Parliament which starts tomorrow even as the Congress insisted on an apology from him for attacking his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat poll campaign. Speaking at an all-party meeting on the session’s eve, Modi again pitched for simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies saying that holding elections once in five years will boost development. Briefing reporters on Modi’s remarks, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the prime minister appealed to leaders of all political parties to help build a consensus on the matter. Modi has been pushing for simultaneous polls, saying an almost uninterrupted cycle of polls across the country hampers government works due to enforcement of model code of conduct and deployment of officials in elections.
“He also sought their cooperation to make the session meaningful and constructive,” Kumar said. Congress leaders raised the issue of Modi’s claim during a speech in Gujarat that Singh colluded with Pakistan to influence the state polls, and said they will raise it in Parliament. “We will raise the issue in Parliament. Either the government prove the claim or the prime minister apologise. Nothing short of an apology will satisfy us,” its leader Anand Sharma said.