Ahead of budget session, Opposition to decide on attending all-party meet called by PM Modi

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the forthcoming budget session of Parliament, Opposition parties are likely to meet to decide whether they will attend the customary all-party meeting, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 30, or not.
Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said that the parties which have extended their support to farmers’ agitation will decide if they want to attend it or boycott the meet over the ongoing protest against farm laws
“We can meet on January 28 or January 29 or an hour before the meet (all-party meeting). Whether to attend or boycott it, the decision will be taken at the meeting,” Chandumajra told ANI. The meeting is likely to take place virtually.
An all-party meeting takes place before the beginning of every Parliamentary session to ensure that the Houses function smoothly.
The SAD leader also met BJP-ally Janata Dal (United) to seek its support on the demand of repealing farm laws.
Chandumajra informed that SAD leaders have reached out to the Opposition as well as to allies of BJP to take up the issue of “destruction of the federal structure by not allowing the States to spend from various heads in the budget”.
He also welcomed the Centre’s proposal of suspending farm laws for one and a half years, and to form a committee with government and farmer unions as members.
However, the SAD leader asserted the government should not delay the repeal of these three laws.
Anticipating a stormy start of the budget session amid ongoing farmers’ agitation, several Union Ministers met at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh‘s residence on Wednesday to chalk out a strategy to counter the Opposition.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot were present at the meeting.
While the next meeting between farmers and the government is scheduled to take place on January 22, the Supreme Court-appointed committee is also expected to speak with farmers today.
The Apex Court has kept the three farm laws in abeyance for two months till the committee submit its report.
Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26, 2020, against the farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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