PM cancels dinner with BJP leaders over Thackeray's death

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 18:20 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday cancelled the dinner to be hosted for senior BJP leaders ahead of the winter session, following the death of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.

Sources said BJP leader Sushma Swaraj called up the prime minister after learning about Thackeray's death. She said her party leaders cannot attend the dinner and urged him to cancel it.

The prime minister accepted the request and cancelled the dinner, the sources added.

Sushma Swaraj tweeted that the party leaders had cancelled the dinner the prime minister was to host for them. "We have cancelled PM's dinner," Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet soon after news came of Thackeray's death.

Besides Sushma Swaraj, who is also the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, senior party leader L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, were expected to attend the dinner.

The prime minister had invited BJP leaders to discuss issues that are likely to figure in the winter session of parliament beginning Nov 22.

The government is seeking cooperation of political parties ahead of the session in an effort to ensure smooth sailing of the legislative agenda which may include crucial bills such as those on land acquisiton and food security.

The BJP is keen to put the government on the mat on issues of FDI in multi−brand retail, price rise and corruption.

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