UPA leaders attend PM's dinner ahead of winter session of Parliament
Leaders of ally parties of the UPA-II Government were attending a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his official 7 Race Course Road residence here on Friday, less than a week before the winter session of Parliament begins.
According to media reports, Prime Minister Singh is hosting this dinner for UPA leaders to firm up a joint strategy on various issues like foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail that is expected to be questioned by the opposition during the winter session of parliament that starts from November 22 and lasts till December 20.
Singh's dinner with UPA leaders is being seen as an attempt to consolidate all partners to face the opposition threat on the floor of both houses in the coming weeks.
He also expected to host a dinner for opposition leaders next week in a bid to make them come around and accept some of the policies that his government is very keen on pushing through to ensure a turnaround of the economy, whose growth has been stymied in the last year or so.
Earlier PM had has similar interactions with leaders of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), supporting UPA from outside.
He hosted a lunch for BSP leader Mayawati and a dinner for SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, both of whom are likely to huge political influence in the 18 months leading up to the 2014 general elections. Both parties presently are giving crucial outside support to the UPA.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its ally partner, the Janata Dal-United (JDU), and recent UPA ally Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with Left parties have tabled notices demanding a vote on FDI.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley along with senior BJP leader L K Advani are expected to dine with the Prime Minister on Saturday.