New Delhi, July 29, 2021- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s arrival in Delhi seems to have galvanised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who attended the meeting of 14 opposition parties on Wednesday, and attacked the government over the Pegasus scandal, farmers’ agitation and even inflation, asking why no discussion is being held on the floor of the House on these issues.
After the opposition meeting, where the Trinamool Congress MPs were not present, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Sitting with the entire opposition is extremely humbling. Amazing experience, wisdom and insight in everyone present.”
Later addressing the media, he said: “The entire opposition is here… our voice is being curtailed in the Parliament.”
He said that they were only asking whether the Pegasus software was bought and if it was used against certain persons in India.
“The government has said no discussion… Why shouldn’t we have a discussion on the floor of the House? (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has put a weapon (Pegasus) and is snooping on our phones,” he alleged.
Banerjee is also rallying support for opposition unity. She is meeting Congress as well as other opposition leaders in Delhi, but the absence of her party MPs from the opposition meet indicates that the Trinamool leader is testing waters in Delhi prior to the big leap ahead of the Lok Sabha polls scheduled in 2024.
There have been opposition meetings minus the Congress, called by Trinamool leader Yashwant Sinha at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s residence. However, the Congress has stressed that there cannot be opposition unity without the Congress as it has a pan-India presence.
But Rahul Gandhi, leading the charge in the opposition meet, indicated that Congress is a bit wary of Banerjee’s presence in Delhi and doesn’t want to leave a vacuum in opposition leadership.
On Wednesday morning, 14 opposition parties met to devise a common strategy to corner the Centre on issues like the Pegasus snooping row and the Assam-Mizoram border violence.
Also present was the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which has so far not been part of any joint opposition strategy.
The meeting was, however, not attended by the Trinamool as its MPs were meeting Banerjee at the same time, said Congress sources.
The parties attending the included Congress, DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, CPI-M, CPI, National Conference, AAP, IUML, RSP, KCM and VCK. (Agency)