Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that Opposition parties raised matters like fuel price hike, inflation and farmers’ protest at an all-party meeting on Sunday, reported ANI. The meeting was held a day before the Winter Session of Parliament scheduled to commence from Monday.
Opposition parties also sought a discussion in the Parliament on the Pegasus spyware row and unemployment, reported NDTV.
Kharge, the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said that the parties present at the meeting also demanded that a law guaranteeing minimum support price for crops should be made.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped the meeting.
“We were expecting that the prime minister will attend the meeting and will share something with us,” Kharge said. “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.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said there was no tradition of the prime minister attending the all party meeting, reported PTI.
Kharge also said that the Opposition parties have demanded Rs 4 lakh as compensation for families of those who died due to the coronavirus disease. He said that compensation should also be given to farmers who died during the farm laws protest.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh walked out of the meeting alleging that he was not allowed to speak.
“They [Centre] don’t let any member speak during all-party meeting,” Singh alleged. “I raised the issue of bringing law on MSP guarantee in this session of the Parliament and other issues including extension of BSF’s [Border Security Force] jurisdiction, etc.”
A total of 31 parties attended the meeting.
Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Anand Sharma, TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Satish Mishra, Biju Janata Dal’s Prasanna Acharya and National Conference legislator Farooq Abdullah, were among those present.
Opposition parties have consistently criticised the government on various matters they raised at the meeting.
While Modi has announced that the government will repeal the laws in the Winter Session, farmers have raised other demands, including a law guaranteeing minimum support price and withdrawal of cases filed against protestors.
The government has listed the Bill for repealing of farm laws for passage in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the session on Monday. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have issued whips asking their MPs to be present on the day.