'Just a phone call away', proposal to farmers still stands: PM Modi at all party meet
PM said discussions in Parliament will be a way out of the current logjam, even as a clutch of opposition parties demanded more discussions on the new farm laws.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired an all party meeting ahead of Monday’s budget session where he said government stands by the offer made to the farmers by agriculture minister Naresh Tomar at the last meeting between the government and farmer representatives.
Even as the government has offered to put the new laws in abeyance for 18 months, a section of protesting farmers and opposition parties are adamant on the laws being repealed. Speaking at the meeting, the PM said discussions in Parliament will be a way out of the current logjam, even as a clutch of opposition parties demanded more discussions on the new farm laws.
Parliamentary affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi told media persons that the Prime Minister, at the meeting, said that whatever was discussed between the Agriculture minister and the farm leaders at the 11th meeting still stands good. “Agriculture minister Tomar had said that the government is open for discussions; he also said that I (Tomar) am a phone call away. I am ready for discussions and this still stands good,”Joshi said.
Discussion in the second half of budget session:
Joshi also said the government is ready for discussions on a range of issues that the opposition wants. He said discussion will be taken up in the second half of the budget session.
As per people aware of the meeting. The PM also noted that disruptions in Parliament affect the smaller parties the most. He said smaller parties must get more time to speak in Parliament. They must prevail on the parties with more representatives to not disrupt the functioning.
A second person privy to the meeting said most of the floor leaders agreed that Parliament must be allowed to function. Also, the issues related to the farm agitation can be taken up during the discussions on the President’s address. In addition, during the discussion on the budget.