PM to dine with BJP today

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 15:12 hrs

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have dinner with top leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at his 7, Race Course Road residence on Thursday.

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.

Singh has been dining with both political friends and foes to ensure a smooth winter session of the Parliament. However, a deadlock between the government and the Opposition on the issue of FDI in retail seems inevitable.

"We want the debate under Rule 184," said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. speaking on FDI in retail.

The government is opposed to it.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said he was ready to discuss all issues and sough cooperation of the Opposition in tiding over economic hardship arising out of global situation.

Requesting cooperation from colleagues from both houses the PM before entering the Parliament said: "We are ready to discuss all issues on the floor of both houses."

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.

At Thursday´s 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.

More from Sify: