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Willing to discuss every issue: Govt ahead of Budget session

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal and others during an all-party meeting ahead of the Budget session of Parliament

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal and others during an all-party meeting ahead of the Budget session of Parliament

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday told floor leaders of various parties that it was ready to discuss every issue in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.

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Emerging from the customary all-party meeting convened by the government on the eve of the Budget session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi described the interaction as "very cordial" and said the government was ready to discuss every issue during the brief session.

The session will be the last one of the present Lok Sabha before parliamentary elections are announced.

Defence Minister and Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi and his deputy Arjun Ram Meghwal represented the government at the meet.

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Congress' K Suresh, TMC's Sudip Bandopadhyay, DMK's T R Baalu, Shiv Sena's Rahul Shewale, Samajwadi Party's S T Hasan, JD(U)'s Ram Nath Thakur and TDP's Jayadev Galla were among the leaders present at the meeting at the Parliament House complex.

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, who represented the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, said he raised the issue of the "violent attack" on the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi in Assam and the state government's curbs on it.

An "unwritten dictatorship" prevails in the country, he said and accused the central government of misusing probe agencies such as the CBI and the ED to target opposition leaders such as Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.

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Tiwari said he raised these issues after consulting opposition parties.

It is a customary practice ahead of every session to convene a meeting as leaders of different parties highlight the issues they want to raise in Parliament, and the government offers them a glimpse into its agenda and seeks their cooperation.

It will be a short session this time, between January 31 and February 9, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to table an interim budget ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The new government will present the full-fledged budget.

The session will begin with President Droupadi Murmu's address to a joint sitting of both Houses.

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