Centre stands by offer made to farmers: PM Modi at all party meet
- The Prime Minister also noted that disruptions in Parliament affect the smaller parties the most. He said smaller parties must get more time to speak in Parliament.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired an all party meeting ahead of Monday’s budget session where he said government stands by the offer made to the farmers by agriculture minister Naresh Tomar at the last meeting between the government and farmer representatives.
Even as the government has offered to put the new laws in abeyance for 18 months, a section of protesting farmers and opposition parties are adamant on the laws being repealed. Speaking at the meeting, the PM said discussions in Parliament will be a way out of the current logjam, even as a clutch of opposition parties demanded more discussions on the new farm laws.
Parliamentary affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi told media persons that the Prime Minister, at the meeting, said that whatever was discussed between the Agriculture minister and the farm leaders at the 11th meeting still stands good. “Agriculture minister Tomar had said that the government is open for discussions; he also said that I (Tomar) am a phone call away and I am ready for discussions and this still stands good,”Joshi said.
Joshi also said the government is ready for discussions on a range of issues that the opposition wants. He said discussion will be taken up in the second half of the budget session.
As per people aware of the meeting, the Prime Minister also noted that disruptions in Parliament affect the smaller parties the most. He said smaller parties must get more time to speak in Parliament and that they must prevail on the parties with more representatives to not disrupt the functioning.
A second person privy to the meeting said most of the floor leaders agreed that Parliament must be allowed to function and the issues related to the farm agitation can be taken up during the discussions on the President’s address and during the discussion on the budget.
BJD’s Pinaki Misra who was present for the meeting said, Odisha chief minister and BJD president, Naveen Patnaik, has specifically requested the Union government to have the women's reservation bill passed in this budget session.
He said the BJD gave 7 out of 21 MP tickets to women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the only political party to have done so.
According to a person aware of the details, the YSR Congress and the TRS, too, backed Odisha CM’s demand for the passage of women's reservation bill in the forthcoming session. The bill was earlier passed in Rajya Sabha in 2010.
On Friday, the Prime Minister had expressed hope that MPs from across political parties will contribute to make the budget session effective in meeting the aspirations of the people. The opposition parties, which boycotted the President‘s address on Friday, are likely to attack the government on a raft of issues, including the ongoing farmers’ agitation for repealing the contentious farm laws, escalation of tensions between India and China along the line of actual control and the government’s response to the corona pandemic and its impact on the economy.