Modi thanks opposition for 'cooperation' in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: Striking a conciliatory tone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday thanked the opposition in the Rajya Sabha for cooperation in ensuring that the upper house functioned well, and appealed for the passage of bills already passed in the Lok Sabha. Unlike the previous sessions, the proceedings were going on smoothly during the ongoing budget session, Modi said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a debate on the motion of thanks on the President's Address to parliament. "Members, even after working overtime, were happy. I spoke to some of them; they were happy as they could put their point before the house," he said.  The prime minister also urged the opposition in the Rajya Sabha to support the bills already passed by the Lok Sabha, saying the country was waiting for the legislations to be passed. He also laid emphasis on cooperation between the two houses to ensure the country progressed. Modi appreciated the members for raising their concerns during the question hour.  "The question hour is very important. Members (ministers) are working overtime to prepare themselves to answer any question they may face (related to their ministries)," he said, and added "this is the power of democarcy". Modi said the house was positively influenced by President Pranab Mukherjee's address since the latter had urged all members to allow the smooth conduct of parliament. Describing the upper house as the "chamber of ideas", the prime minister said there has be a "balance" between the two houses of parliament. "They must cooperate with each other," he said.  Modi said everybody has to work together to take the country forward. "It's not about blaming this or that government; we must cooperate with each other," he said, striking a conciliatory tone. The prime minister said that the National Democratic Alliance government was a "policy-driven government" trying to ensure transparency in every sphere of life. Modi said his government was also decentralising things since India was a big country and it was not good that the people have to come to Delhi for all sorts of clearances. He also took a dig at the Congress, saying had the earlier governments led by the present opposition party worked properly, he would not have to do a lot of things as prime minister. "Today, you are going around with a microscope (to find faults with my government). Had you tried working with a binocular, I would not have to work so hard now," he said after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue of Jan Dhan Yojana. In a rare moment of bonhomie between the treasury and opposition benches in parliament, union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday earned praise from the opposition members in the Lok Sabha.