Congress calls Opposition meet, says unity to go on till 2024 polls

03-08-2021

New Delhi, Aug 3 (UNI) Amid stalemate and protests in Parliament, leaders of 15 Opposition parties on Tuesday morning attended a strategy meet called by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, which was followed by a cycle march to Parliament opposing fuel price hike.

This also comes on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Opposition for disrupting Parliament proceedings.

The breakfast meeting was attended by over 100 opposition MPs, amid continuing stalemate in the Parliament. Several MPs then rode bicycles to the Parliament House, carrying placards protesting fuel price hike.

This comes a week after the former Congress president undertook a surprise tractor ride to parliament in support of the agitation against new farm laws.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge called the meeting a display of opposition unity.

"We are today, in this march, raising the issue of fuel price hike. Common people are suffering and the government is mute spectator," Kharge said.

Congress also said the unity that was witnessed on Tuesday will go all the way to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress MP and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi called the display of Opposition unity a 'trailer' to 2024 General elections.

"Whether it is Pegasus, price rise, or farm laws. The Opposition will remain united," Singhvi said.

"This is a trailer to 2024, it is a historic day. You will see the results in the form of victory in the 2024 elections," he said.

The Congress leader also said 17 political parties are together on these issues.

On Tuesday 15 parties - Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), CPI, CPI(M), IUML, Trinamool Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Kerala Congress (M), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), National Conference, and DMK attended the meeting.

While Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not attend the meeting, Singhvi said: "Whether AAP or BSP, all parties have one principle of unity on these issues, keeping their differences aside."

Asked if it indicated that Rahul Gandhi would be the opposition camp's leader in 2024, Singhvi said there have been no discussions on the issue.

"We are together, that issue has not even remotely been discussed. The main point is that the opposition is united and that is why the BJP is scared and that is why such statements are being made," he said.

Both houses of Parliament have been witnessing protests and repeated adjournments over a slew of issues, with the Pegasus snooping controversy coming up as a major issue.

The Government has blamed the Opposition for stalling the Parliament. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting of BJP MPs slammed the Opposition for disrupting Parliament.

Opposition leaders have meanwhile said that the government is blocking the proceedings by not agreeing for a debate on the Pegasus issue.

Monsoon session of Parliament ends on Aug 13.