February 19, 2018

Sonia calls opposition meeting on Friday, Sharad invited

13 August 2017, 10:51 | Opal Carroll

Opposition charts strategy for session break

To stop BJP's 2019 march, Opposition parties to meet in Delhi today

The rift that surfaced during the Gujarat Rajya Sabha biennial elections, widened after the Friday meet and may worsen if the NCP tries to snatch the post of leader of opposition in the wake of the potential political developments in the state.When the NCP chose to boycott the meet to protest against questions being raised on its integrity, the Congress said the NCP was trying to get closer with the BJP.The bitterness between the two may worsen as the NCP is planning to stake claim on the post of leader of state assembly as well.

The widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who belonged to the Nehru-Gandhi family, was invited by Congress leaders to take over the reins of the party after her husband's assassination in 1991, but she vehemently refused to lead it. Also NCP skipping the meeting shows that Congress has no power and has lost it long back.

The 16 parties, which attended the meeting, made a decision to form a sub-group to prepare a common agenda ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament.

Gandhi said when the Congress-led government was at the Centre, every year minimum support price (MSP) on crops used to increase by about 15 per cent, but after BJP came to power it has been increasing only by two to three per cent.

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"After we issued a whip to our MLAs, they voted for the Congress".

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who opposed the party's decision to ally with the BJP in Bihar, was on Saturday removed as leader of JD (U) in the Rajya Sabha.

Apart from the NCP, the Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) stayed away from the Opposition meeting. Mr Ansari was promptly suspended from the parliamentary party. Suggesting that the opposition parties had to build an "alternative narrative" to counter PM Narendra Modi and BJP, Yechury said, "This could be done through effective strategy and by taking up pro-people issues such as agrarian crisis". Talking to reporters after the meeting, Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said its leader Jose K Mani had conveyed to him that he had a programme to attend on the same day in Kerala.

Speaking about article 371 (J), Gandhi said Congress has fought with the people for this for their development. The CPI (M) leader also said that the Left had problems over having an electoral alliance with the Congress.

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