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Country will lead Opposition, says Mamata

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 27, 2021

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee and Congress leader Kamal Nath come out after a meeting in New Delhi   -  PTI

House disrupted again over ‘Pegasus’ row

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the “country will lead the Opposition” hinting that she is working towards a broader alliance of Opposition parties before the 2024 general elections. Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Delhi, will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP president Sharad Pawar in the next two days.

As a precursor, she met senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Abhishek Manu Singhvi here on Tuesday. Banerjee earlier met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and raised the Covid-19 vaccination supply issue.

Also read: Opposition closes ranks against BJP Govt

The leaders of Opposition parties in Lok Sabha also met at the Congress office in Parliament. At the meeting, attended by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the leaders decided to step up protests inside the House on Pegasus snooping allegations and farmers’ protests.

A section of the Opposition MPs also wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind against the Centre’s decision to not to allow a debate on Pegasus controversy. Both the houses, meanwhile, witnessed uproarious scenes for the seventh consecutive day. The Opposition is likely to continue the protests on Wednesday too as adjournment motions have been moved demanding a debate on the issue in both the Houses.

‘Meaningful debate’

Deputy leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma charged that the Centre is not interested in a meaningful discussion and debate. “This government does not believe in its accountability to the people of India through Parliament. This government has lowered the prestige of Indian parliament and Indian democracy,” he accused and added that the Opposition’s demand for a discussion on Pegasus is “correct and fair”.

‘Supreme Court probe’

Banerjee, meanwhile, added that the Opposition is united against the Centre. She maintained the demand of the Opposition for a Supreme Court monitored probe on the Pegasus matter. She said she will meet the Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Also read: Mamata Banerjee sets up panel to probe Pegasus hacking claims

She termed the meeting with Modi as a courtesy call and declined to comment when asked whether she took up the issue of Pegasus with Modi. She, however, demanded an all-party meeting on the row.

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu once again expressed his anguish over the Opposition’s stance. He alleged that the agitating members are harming the interest of the country. “I am concerned over media reports that some sections of the House have decided not to allow the functioning of the House for the remainder of the session,” he said.

Published on July 27, 2021

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