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India

Covid-19: Congress, SAD Skip PM Modi’s All-Party Meeting; TMC, NCP and SP Attend

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress is not boycotting the meeting but it will not attend as his party wants the government to present the facts on the floor of both houses of Parliament.

New Delhi: A number of opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress, NCP and Samajwadi Party, attended an all-party meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to brief floor leaders and discuss the government’s strategy in the handling of the Covid-19 situation while the main opposition party Congress skipped it. Other parties who did not attend the meeting include RJD, AAP, SAD and Left parties.

Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among those present in the meet for the floor leaders of all parties. Other Union ministers, included Piyush Goyal and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav and Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s Pinaki Misra were among the opposition leaders who attended the meeting.

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Floor leaders of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Shiv Sena, Tamil Manila Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal (Secular), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal (United), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) were also present.

While many non-NDA regional parties attended the meeting, the BJP’s former ally, Akali Dal, also skipped it. The Left parties also did not attend the meeting.

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Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress is not boycotting the meeting but it will not attend as his party wants the government to present the facts on the floor of both houses of Parliament.

On Monday, Modi said he has requested all the floor leaders to take some time out on Tuesday evening when he would like to give detailed information regarding the pandemic.

“We want a discussion in the House as well as outside the House with all the floor leaders. I am constantly meeting the chief ministers and all kinds of discussions are happening in different forums. So I also want to meet the floor leaders as House is going on and it will be convenient and we can talk about it (the pandemic) face-to-face,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)