Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday cancelled the dinner he was hosting for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Parliament session following a request from Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj in the wake of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray's death.
As the news of Thackeray's death came in, Swaraj called up the prime minister and said the BJP is saddened by Thackeray's demise and cannot attend the dinner tonight. She requested him to cancel the dinner.
Singh accepted Swaraj's request and cancelled the dinner. The PM had invited the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani to discuss the issues that are likely to figure in the forthcoming Winter session of Parliament.
The dinner was part of the government's efforts to reach out to the main opposition ahead of the session to ensure smooth sailing of some crucial Bills. The Lokpal Bill, Land Acquisition Bill and Food Security Bill are said to be on the list.
The BJP is likely to put the government on the mat on issues like FDI in multi-brand retail, price rise, corruption and scams. There is an overwhelming opinion within the party that it, along with NDA allies, should support the no-confidence motion that TMC is planning to bring against the UPA government. A final decision will be taken on November 21, sources said.
BJP may also demand voting on some of the crucial issues. It will rake up coal allocation issue- in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has been targeted- and the 2G spectrum scam, among others.