Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday assured the Opposition that their every word is "valuable" to the government irrespective of their "numbers", and asked it to actively speak in Parliament.
On the first day of the Monsoon session, PM Modi also urged all MPs to be impartial in the House and address issues related to the larger interest of the nation.
Underlining the importance of an active opposition in a democracy, the Prime Minister said he hopes the opposition "will speak actively and participate in House proceedings... I am hopeful that this session will be more productive."
"The Opposition need not worry about their numbers. Whatever numbers opposition parties may have got from the people, for us their every word is valuable. All their feelings are valuable," Modi said addressing the media outside the Parliament before the start of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
He also said, "when we come to Parliament, we should forget 'paksh' (treasury) and 'vipaksh' (opposition) and should think about issues with a 'nishpaksh' (impartial) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation."
Responding to PM Modi's comments, the Congress hoped that the trend by the BJP-led NDA government in its previous term to push key bills without legislative scrutiny using "brute majority" is reversed.
Alleging that the PM Modi government used Parliament as a "rubber stamp" during its previous tenure, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "legislation through ordinance is a very unhealthy practice in a democracy. It should only be used in extreme cases where there is an emergency requirement otherwise the due processes of lawmaking must to be followed by the government in office."
He said, "we will now wait for the Prime Minister's assurance in this regard and whether the practice that was followed in the last five years is reversed, because in the last five years what we have seen is disrespect to Parliament, where the bills were brought by the government and because of its brute majority in the Lok Sabha, Parliament was treated as a rubber stamp."
Most of the bills were not sent to the standing committee for legislative scrutiny which is important for any law to be made, Sharma said.
The Congress hopes that now this practice will be honoured and dependence of ordinance and pushing through the bills without scrutiny will not be repeated by the government, he said.
Earlier, talking about the newly constituted Lok Sabha, Modi said it is historic in various terms as maximum number of women MPs have been elected to the lower house since the Independence.
PM Modi said as this is the first session with new members, there will be a flow of new energy and a new enthusiasm will be reflected in the House to realise the aspirations of the people.
The prime minister said his government worked on the principle of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' (with all, development for all) during his first term and people reposed their faith in it for a second time. As a result, a government has been reelected with a clear majority after several decades, he said.
While the BJP-led NDA has 353 members, the saffron party has a majority on its own with 303 members in the 545-member Lok Sabha. The Congress with 52 seats is the second largest party in the house.