LS Speaker Birla meets floor leaders to end LS logjam; Opposition insists PM initiates Manipur debate

Amid continued logjam in Lok Sabha over a debate on Manipur violence, Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday convened an all-party meeting of floor leaders
LS speaker Om Birla
LS speaker Om Birla

New Delhi | Amid continued logjam in Lok Sabha over a debate on Manipur violence, Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday convened an all-party meeting of floor leaders, in a bid to end the impasse but the government and opposition stuck to their respective stands.

Opposition floor leaders insisted on a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the government said Home Minister Amit Shah would reply to the debate on Manipur violence, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal told reporters after the meeting.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said opposition party leaders were told that the government is ready for discussion on Manipur and can be held any day the Speaker decides.

"There are several important bills and we do not want them to be passed without discussion. We want constructive discussion. We urged them with folded hands to participate in the discussion," he told reporters.

"We are ready to participate in discussion on Manipur on any day the Speaker decides, even tomorrow if the Speaker decides so. Our Home Minister will give a detailed reply to the discussion," he added.

leaders of both the opposition side and the treasury benches put across their points at the meeting.

Meghwal said the opposition leaders then said they will discuss the matter with their senior leader and convey their stand on the issue soon.

"We are trying to end the deadlock but opposition parties are coming up with a new demand," Meghwal claimed.

"Earlier they were demanding a discussion on Manipur. When we said we are ready for discussion, they demanded that the Prime Minister start the discussion," Meghwal said.

"Now they are saying why did the Prime Minister speak on Manipur before coming to Parliament," he said, accusing the opposition parties of looking for new excuses as they are "frustrated and disappointed." While Birla had been informally meeting leaders of various parties to resolve the impasse, Tuesday was the first structured all-party meeting of floor leaders called by him.

Since the Monsoon session began on Thursday, both Houses have witnessed continued disruptions by the opposition demanding a statement by the Prime Minister. After continued disruptions, this was Birla's fresh attempt to end the logjam.

Deputy Leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Shah have told Lok Sabha that the government was ready for a discussion.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar also held a meeting on Monday with opposition leaders from the Upper House, including Jairam Ramesh, BRS' K Keshava Rao, BJD's Sasmit Patra and AAP's Raghav Chadha as well to resolve the deadlock.

Defence Minister Singh, BJP sources said, has separately spoken to opposition leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress and DMK leader T R Baalu, in an attempt to break the impasse but in vain.

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