Congress skips all party meeting on COVID; TMC, NCP among those present

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) 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 discuss the government's handling of the COVID-19 situation while the main opposition party Congress skipped it. 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 BJD's Pinaki Misra were among the opposition leaders who attended the meeting. Leaders of the BSP and TRS also attended the meeting. 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. 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. PTI JTR/KR PYK PYK

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