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Nov 16, 2012, 10.50 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

FDI, reforms to be prime agenda in PM-BJP meet

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to meet BJP leaders ahead of the winter session of parliament and will talk about FDI in multibrand retail and the recent reforms drive.

Siddharth Zarabi

Economic Editor, CNBC-TV18

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to meet BJP leaders ahead of the winter session of parliament and will talk about FDI in multibrand retail and the recent reforms drive. CNBC-TV18’s Siddharth Zarabi reports, the government is keen to make an effort to reach out to the principal opposition.

The government will try to speak with individual BJP leaders like the finance minister and Kamal Nath. A high level briefing also suggests there is likely to be a meeting over dinner or lunch depending on whatever the BJP leaders are ready to accept. However, the meeting will take place only when the Prime Minister returns from the ASEAN summit.

At present November 22 appears to be a likely date when the government will meet the principal opposition party. The prime minister is willing to go on record in parliament to make a statement on all issues including FDI, economic reforms and other related issues which could not be discussed in the previous session.

Although, the Left and the Janta Dal United have already moved formal motion seeking a debate in parliament on the issue of FDI in retail, the government seems to be continuing its reform agenda, giving a clear message that there will be no rollback.  Once the message is conveyed to the BJP, it will be up to them to decide their floor strategy.

The next few days are expected to be very interesting as there are no major decisions slated before the parliament session. The National Investment Board is also likely to be formed soon. Therefore, between the meeting and the start of the parliament session next week there will be a lot of back and forth between the BJP and the government.

However, as far as the government is concerned, it would rather not allow a discussion under a rule which allows voting. The government is very comfortable with a discussion as long as there is no voting involved because voting can make the situation dicey.

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