Soon after the Upper House assembled after lunch, Deputy Speaker P J Kurien said that notices had been received from Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad for suspension of business of house and discussion of farmers' issue which the government has agreed.
Kurien said some other members like KC Tyagi JD(U) and Naresh Agarwal (SP) had also sought a discussion on the issue. However, before the discussion could begin, Agarwal said the discussion on the "serious" issue cannot begin without the Prime Minister's presence.
With some other opposition members also supporting the demand for the Prime Minister's presence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said since a notice had been given on the matter, the government had promptly agreed for a discussion.
"However now the opposition is not ready for holding a discussion and excuses are being made," he said. Kurien, who was in the chair, also said that regular business of the House has been suspended especially for the debate which should begin immediately.
Seeking to make the government's position clear, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government was keen for a discussion on the key issue whenever the opposition wants, whether today or on Monday. He however insisted that if the opposition was not ready for it on Thursday, then other listed business should be taken up.
Meanwhile members of opposition parties, continued to insist that since different ministeries including Home, Finance, Food and Agriculture were involved, it was important that the Prime Minister should be present.

Insisting on the PM's presence, Agarwal even claimed that Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had earlier given wrong facts relating to Uttar Pradesh. Azad too mentioned that the Prime Minister's presence was desirable.

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