PM Skips All-Party Meet Before Winter Session, Opposition Steps Up Attack

AAP leader Sanjay Singh walked out of the all-party meeting alleging he was not allowed to speak.

The BJP and Congress have issued whips to their MPs to be present in Parliament (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today skipped an all-party meeting called by his government, a day before the start of the Winter Session of Parliament.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present from the government side.

"We were expecting that the Prime Minister will attend the meeting and will share something with us. We wanted to ask more about the farm laws as there are some apprehensions that these three farm laws may again come in some other form," said Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha.

The Congress demanded that compensation be paid to families of farmers who passed away during the protest. The fuel price rise and tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control were also raised by the grand old party.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi denied that the Prime Minister violated a tradition by skipping the all-party meet.

"There was no tradition of Prime Minister attending the all party meeting it was started by Modiji. He couldn't attend the today's meeting," said Mr Joshi, adding 31 parties attended the meeting.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh walked out of the all-party meeting alleging he was not allowed to speak. Mr Singh wanted to raise the farmers' demand for law on Minimum Support Prices.

"They (Government) don't let any member speak during all-party meeting. I raised the issue of bringing law on MSP guarantee in this session of the Parliament and other issues incl extension of BSF's jurisdiction etc. They don't us speak in all-party meet and Parliament," said Sanjay Singh.

YSR Congress Party demanded that the government should form a Joint Parliamentary Committee for bringing statutory resolution for MSP.

Almost all opposition parties demanded the sacking of Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, whose son is accused of running over farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.

On its part, the government bill for repeal of the farm laws has been listed for introduction and passage in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the session on Monday.

The bill will be introduced by the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the house.

The ruling BJP and main opposition party Congress have issued whips to their MPs to be present on the day.

"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 Commodites (Amendment) Act, 2020 and to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Also to introduce the bill," Lok Sabha's list of business for November 29, states.

The prominent opposition leaders present at the customary session-eve meet included Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Anand Sharma from the Congress, TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva from DMK, Sharad Pawar from NCP, Vinayak Raut from Shiv Sena, Ramgopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party, Satish Mishra from BSP, Prasanna Acharya from BJD and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah.

Later today, the BJP will hold its parliamentary executive meeting. The NDA floor leaders are expected to meet around 3 pm.

Farmers on Saturday deferred their 'sansad chalo', or 'march to Parliament' call after a meeting of farmers' front Samyukt Kisan Morcha. They said they will wait till December 4 before announcing their next decision.

Last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a stunning U-Turn, said the farm laws would be rolled back, and asked farmers to stand down and return home, something they refused.

They farmers say the agitation will go on till the laws are formally repealed and all demands, including legal guarantee for MSP, are met.

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