Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla chaired an all-party meeting on Friday, the opening day of the Budget session, at which Opposition leaders demanded a debate on the farm laws on the floor of the House.

Separately, the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) decided to end the first part of the session on February 13, instead of February 15 as scheduled earlier.

February 15 being a Monday, BAC members unanimously decided to work on a Saturday and end the first part on February 13, instead of stretching it to a new week, said sources.

Earlier schedule

According to the earlier schedule, the session was to go on a recess on February 15 and reconvene on March 8 before it finally ends on April 8. The BAC also decided to allocate 10 hours for the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address to the joint sitting of Parliament that was delivered on Friday.

The debate would take place on February 2, 3 and 4, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would reply on February 5, the sources said.

Later, at the all-party meeting, Speaker Birla assured the members that he would try to give every member a chance to speak on different issues and requested their cooperation.

Responding to the Opposition’s demand for a debate on the farm laws, the government suggested that the issue can be raised during the Motion of Thanks debate.

Earlier in the day, when the Lok Sabha briefly met to table the Economic Survey, Congress MPs trooped into the well of the House and shouted slogans against the farm laws.

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