FDI on menu at PM dinner

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Allowing FDI in multi-brand retail was reportedly the main issue at Friday’s UPA dinner, hosted by the Prime Minister against the backdrop of the approaching Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 22.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also invited senior BJP leaders to dinner on Saturday to seek their cooperation for the smooth functioning of Parliament and passage of key legislation.

Sources said that the common topic of deliberation during the dinner was how to deal with the Opposition’s attack on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said he is looking into any precedence to an executive decision (FDI in multi-brand retail) being put to vote.

UPA allies DMK, NCP, RLD and National Conference were represented at Friday’s dinner.

Sonia, PC met PM before UPA dinner

NDA working chairman L.K. Advani, the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, respectively, have been invited to dinner at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence on Saturday, sources said.

Meanwhile, before the UPA dinner hosted by the Prime Minister on Friday, senior Congress leaders, including party president Sonia Gandhi and Union ministers A.K. Antony and P. Chidambaram, met Manmohan Singh.

The PM had earlier hosted lunch for SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati; both parties have been extending outside support to the UPA but have been critical of the government’s decision allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

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