All Party Meeting Held Ahead Of Parliament’s Winter Session, PM Skips It

Photo: ANI

On the eve of the Winter Session of Parliament, the government-convened all party meeting was held on Sunday which was attended by 31 political parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was likely to attend the meeting decided to skip it.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said: The tradition of coming to the all-party meeting was started by Modi ji. Before that, only the parliamentary affairs minister used to come. The PM could not come today.” From the government side, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present at the meeting.

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Senior Congress leader who is also Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said: “We were expecting the Prime Minister to come for the meeting. We wanted to ask his opinion on the farmers’ bill.” The Congress demanded that compensation to the families of the farmers who died during the agitation against the three contentious farm laws, fuel price rise and tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control were also among the issues raised by the party.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh walked out of the meeting alleging he was not allowed to speak. YSR Congress Party demanded that the government should form a Joint Parliamentary Committee for bringing statutory resolution for Minimum Support Price.

Opposition parties also demanded that the Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, whose son is an accused in running over a gathering of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, be sacked.

Though the issue of farmers’ protest has been diluted with the Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of repealing the three controversial laws, the Opposition parties are in no mood to let the government off the hook during the Winter Session. Last session of Parliament was a wash out as an adamant opposition demanded a discussion on Pegasus snooping issue.

On the very first day of the session, the Government has listed in the Lok Sabha business the bill for repeal of the farm laws for introduction and passage. It will be introduced by the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the House.

Both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have issued whips to their members to remain present in the House on Monday.

“Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will move for leave to introduce a Bill to repeal the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers” Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Act) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Also to introduce the bill,” according to the list of business for November 29 which was put out by the Lok Sabha.

Farmers have postponed their march to Parliament but have decided to wait before announcing their next decision. For the time being, their sit-in protest is continuing on the borders of Delhi. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) which is an umbrella body of farmer unions protesting against the three laws for the past one year has said that it would seek an assurance from the government in Parliament on their demand for legislation on MSP for their crops.

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