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The all-party meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar, besides leaders of the Opposition and other parties.

Talking to reporters after the meeting of Opposition parties convened by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will convene yet another meeting of Opposition leaders on the Budget session. The president strongly endorsed the need to explore the possibility of holding simultaneous elections in the country.

He also expressed hope that the bill to ban instant triple talaq will soon become a law and the Muslim women can lead a life of dignity and a life of self-respect with courage. The government sought the cooperation to ensure the success of the Budget session.

He said the session was important as the took suggestions made by various parties during the all-party meeting seriously.

The PM encouraged all political parties to prevent tokenism in different Standing Committees of the Parliament and play a more constructive role to give concrete solutions to issues of national importance brought before the Committees. Hitting out at the BJP government, the Congress leader said: "This government is in denial and therefore will not be in a position to improve the situation on all fronts including alleviation of agrarian distress, redressal of the grievances of farmers, improving rural wages which have fallen sharply and so has the agricultural growth".

The same scene was repeated in the Rajya Sabha. Till the deliberations are going on... "Let the House decide", he added. There are only four full working days in the first part of the session, during which the Budget is to be presented. As many as 28 bills will be tabled in the Lok Sabha, while 39 bills are listed for the Rajya Sabha for the upcoming session. The General will be presented by the finance minister on February 1.

Meanwhile, the Opposition is planning to raise concerns on rising incidents of rape, the alleged "attack" on constitutional institutions apart from the plight of traders. This is unfortunate. In a liberal democracy, discussions and debates on important issues of the day are key functions of a Parliament apart from discussion and debate for the goal of immediate legislation.

Modi was speaking to media at the beginning of the session today.

The session will conclude on April 6.

The first phase of the budget session begins on Monday and ends on 9 February.


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