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BJP leaders to meet PM over dinner

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS)

BJP leaders are expected to press their demand for discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under rules that entail voting during their dinner meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, party sources said.

The Prime Minister has invited senior party leader L.K. Advani, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to the dinner in which an attempt is likely to be made to narrow down differences on contentious issues, including foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

The winter session of parliament started Thursday.

The dinner meeting was rescheduled after it was cancelled Saturday last because of the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

"The FDI issue may come up during the meeting," a party leader said.

The BJP, along with Left parties, is insistent on a discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under rules that entail voting.

The logjam on the issue persisted Thursday with the BJP accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of keeping the parliament in the dark on its decision of FDI in multi-brand retail.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, however, denied that there had been any violation of the assurance given by the government in the two houses of parliament last year, of arriving at a consensus on the FDI issue.

The government has legislative agenda for the winter session which it would like to see passed.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain Thursday said the UPA government should allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under rules that entail voting.

He said if the parliament does not function, it will be because of the "arrogance" of the UPA government.


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