An all-party meeting was convened by the union government ahead of the winter session of the Parliament on November 28 with most opposition parties demanding a discussion on the Pegasus snooping row, price rise and unemployment.
31 political parties and 42 leaders participated in the meeting. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present at the meet.
The prominent opposition leaders present at the meet included Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Anand Sharma from the Congress, T R Baalu and Tiruchi Siva from the DMK, Sharad Pawar from the NCP, Vinayak Raut from the Shiv Sena, Ramgopal Yadav from the Samajwadi Party, Satish Mishra from the BSP, Prasanna Acharya from the BJD and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah.
Opposition parties also demanded that a farm law guaranteeing MSP should be brought.
"Many issues including, inflation, fuel price hike, farmers' issues and COVID19 were raised in the all-Party meeting today. All parties demanded that a law guaranteeing MSP should be made", said Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Kharge also said that the opposition has demanded a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs each to the families of COVID-19 victims. Compensation should also be given to farmers who lost their lives during the farm laws protest, he added.
Speaking on PM Modi not attending Kharge said, "We expected PM to attend meet today. But for some reason, he didn't attend it...Govt has withdrawn farm laws but PM had said that he couldn't make farmers understand. It means that these laws may be brought back in some other form in future".
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) raised ten issues, including unemployment, Pegasus snooping, MSP law, weakening of the federal structure, the extension of BSF jurisdiction and urged the government not to bulldoze bills in parliament.
YSRCP also rallied for a law on MSP wanting an extension of it on marine & poultry products as well, informed YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy. He apprised the several issues the party raised including socio-economic caste census, 50% reservation to women and adequate compensation to families of the farmers who died during their protest.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, walked out of the meeting, claiming it was not allowed to speak. AAP leader Sanjay Singh said he walked out as he was not allowed to raise issues related to farmers, especially on a law on MSP.
"They (Govt) don't let any member speak during the all party meeting. I raised the issue of bringing law on MSP guarantee in this session of the Parliament and other issues incl extension of BSF's jurisdiction etc. They don't us speak in all-Party meet&Parliament", said the AAP MP.
Addressing the meet, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh underlined the government's intention of a healthy discussion in Parliament, while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi requested the opposition parties cooperation for the smooth functioning of the House.
The Winter Session of the Parliament will begin on November 29 and conclude on December 23. 36 legislations and one financial item to be taken up during Winter Session, with the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 being one of them. The government has also listed the repeal of farm bills for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha on November 29.(With inputs from agencies)