Congress interim president, Sonia Gandhi hold an important virtual meeting on Friday with opposition leaders from nearly 19 parties to discuss future strategies against NDA and to set agenda for 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. Parties which attended the virtual meeting were: Congress, TMC, NCP, DMK, Shiv Sena, JMM, CPI, CPI(M), National Conference, RJD, AIUDF, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Loktantrik Janta Dal, JD(S), RLD, RSP, Kerala Congress (M), PDP and IUML.
During the interaction, Sonia Gandhi said that monsoon session of Parliament was a complete washout again entirely due to the Government’s obstinate and arrogant unwillingness to discuss and debate urgent issues of public importance.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and Left leader Sitaram Yechury were among those top leaders who joined the virtual meet. No leader from Samajwadi Party was present in the meet.
Congress interim chief appealed to non- BJP leaders that this is the time to unite while working cohesively together and leave their compulsions over the interest of the nation. “Ultimate goal is the 2024 Lok Sabha polls for which we’ve to begin to plan systematically with single-minded objective of giving to our country a government that believes in the values of the Freedom Movement & in the principles and provisions of our Constitution”, She added.
Opposition released a joint statement after today’s meeting in which they demanded to restore full statehood including Jammu & Kashmir cadre of central services, conduct free & fair elections at the earliest. They also condemned the way in which Central Government refused to discuss on alleged use of Pegasus spyware, repealing of newly introduced farmer laws, gross mismanagement of Covid-19, inflation & price rise.
Thanking Gandhi for bringing ‘like-minded individuals’ together, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who attended the meet, tweeted: “I truly appreciate the steps taken to organise this much needed meeting in view of the present circumstances in our country. The current scenario in India appears very gloomy.”
श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी जी की पहल पर आज समान विचारधारा वाले विपक्षी दलों की बैठक संपन्न हुई। वर्चुअली आयोजित की गई इस बैठक में सम्मिलित होकर अपने विचार व्यक्त किए। @INCIndia@NCPspeaks #OppositionMeet pic.twitter.com/P23gtbqWsD
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) August 20, 2021
West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee emphasized that every opposition party should be included in such meetings, “even those not allied with Congress”. She also suggested to set up a core group to work together and to decide on the next line of action and programmes.
The 19 parties that took part in today’s online meeting will jointly organize protest actions all over the country from 20th to 30th September 2021.
Faraaz is pursuing Mass Communication & Journalism from BBD University Lucknow.