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Offer to suspend farm laws still stands: PM at all-party meet

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: January 30, 2021 17:38 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told floor leaders of various political parties that his government's offer on agri laws made to protesting farmers "still stands" and it was a "phone call away" for talks, days after violence broke out in parts of the national capital on Republic Day.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses media personnel as he arrives at Parliament House to attend the budget session in New Delh. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Addressing these leaders at the customary all-party meeting convened by the government for the smooth conduct of the Budget Session, the prime minister, responding to the references by opposition leaders about the "unfortunate incident" on Republic Day, said that the "law will take its own course".

Sharing the details of the meeting chaired by Modi and attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said, "The prime minister assured that the Centre is approaching the farmers issue with an open mind."

"The prime minister said the Centre's stand is same as it was on January 22, the last meeting between the protesting farmers and the Centre and proposal given by Agriculture Minister on the farm laws still stands. Modiji reiterated what Tomarji had said - that he (Narendra Singh Tomar) is phone call away for talks," Joshi said quoting Modi.


Emphasising on the need for smooth functioning of Parliament, Modi said smaller parties suffer the most due to disruptions as they do not get chance to raise their issues.

"It is for the bigger parties to ensure Parliament functions smoothly, there are no disruptions and thus, the smaller parties are able to voice their views in Parliament," Joshi said citing Modi's remarks.

The all-party meeting is convened for the government to put forth its legislative agenda before political parties. Leaders from various parties flag issues they wish to raise during the meeting.

The prime minister also condemned the vandalism of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in California in the US, the parliamentary affairs minister said.

At Friday's meeting, various leaders including Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Shiv Sena's Vinayak Raut raised the issue of protesting farmers, sources said.

All major opposition parties sought discussions on farmers' issues during the meeting.

While almost all opposition parties condemned the violence and vandalism at Red fort by a group of protesting farmers on Republic Day, they asserted that other farmers protesting peacefully should not be held responsible for it.

Meanwhile, the Biju Janata Dal demanded the passage of women's reservation bill during the budget session which was supported by the YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

TMC's Bandyopadhyay said boycott of President's address by 20 opposition parties was a strong message for the government to withdraw the farm laws, the sources said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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