PM invites BJP for dinner tomorrow

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 18:17 hrs

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited top leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a dinner on Thursday, even as the main Opposition outfit showed no signs of an accord over the thorny issue of allowing foreign investment in the supermarket sector.

The dinner, earlier scheduled for Saturday, had been called off following the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, an ally of the BJP.

Party patriarch L.K. Advani and leaders of Opposition in the two houses - Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were expected to come for the dinner.

On Friday, the PM had hosted a dinner for allies as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) sought to sketch out a strategy to face the strong opposition onslaught it expects to face in the soon-to-begin winter session of the Parliament.

Led by the BJP, the Opposition is expected to renew its attack on the Congress-led UPA coalition government at the Centre over recent economic reforms, including the decision to relax foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in India's retail sector.

At the dinner, the Prime Minister is likely to request that a repeat of the last Parliament session, when House proceedings had were stalled almost everyday over unrelenting Opposition filibustering, is avoided.

The BJP on Tuesday said it was open to bringing its own no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government, setting the stage for a stormy Winter session of the Parliament.

At the end of a 90-minute meeting, the BJP and its allies, members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), also called for a discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under a rule that allows voting.

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