National

Opposition closes ranks against BJP Govt

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 26, 2021

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi drives a tractor to reach Parliament in support of farmers’ agitation , in New Delhi on Monday   -  PTI

Congress, TMC use Pegasus spyware scandal, farmers protests as a common cause

The Opposition continued to corner the Centre on the alleged use of Pegasus spyware against Constitutional authorities and both the Houses witnessed uproarious scenes and repeated adjournments on Monday too. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day without taking up any major agenda, but the Lok Sabha passed two Bills amid the din.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has constituted a two member panel of retired judges to probe the allegation, began a three-day visit to consolidate the opposition on the Pegasus issue. A meeting of the Parliamentary Party of Trinamool Congress decided to function as the “lead Opposition party” on the controversy.

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

Meanwhile, on the farm front, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is organising the farmers protest against farm reform laws, announced Mission Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which will be launched with a rally in Muzaffarnagar on September 5. Elections to both the State Assemblies will take place in 2022. “In this mission, anti-farmer BJP and its allies will be resisted and boycotted everywhere,” the SKM said.

Farmers’ demand

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and senior Congress MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Deepinder Singh Hooda, who drove a tractor to Parliament said they have brought the message of farmers to Parliament.

“Their issue is not being allowed to be discussed in Parliament and farmers all over the country are being suppressed and that is why we are here. These black laws should be withdrawn,” said Rahul. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, also met floor leaders of various Opposition parties said the snooping controversy has dealt a big blow to democracy in our country. “The manner in which snooping in being done in the country, our privacy and personal liberty and democracy have been finished,” he alleged.

Also read: Rajya Sabha suspends TMC MP; using Pegasus is treason: Rahul

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter, “The entire Opposition is united. Have a discussion on Pegasus snooping issue in presence of Prime Minister or Home Minister. Announce a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the scandal. Parliament is not functioning because Government is not agreeing to these legitimate demands.”

‘Public issues not raised’

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressed concern over about 90 members of the House being denied opportunities to raise issues of public importance. He said even after notices were admitted by the Chairman some MPs could not speak due to persistent disruption of proceedings of the House.

Naidu said a total of 69 Zero Hour mentions including 12 admitted for the day on Monday and 23 Special Mentions could not be raised in the House. He said as many as 57 matters of 63 members were permitted during zero hour, but none could be raised due to disruption of proceedings.

Also read: Pegasus scam: Political parties, Editors Guild of India condemn snoop move

“These matters covered wide ranging issues like shortage of Covid-19 vaccines; need for time bound completion of Covid 19 vaccination; unemployment due to the continuing pandemic; problems of students in availing online education; hike in the prices of petroleum products and of essential commodities; alleged attacks on the freedom of press; situation in Lakshadweep; attacks on and killing of Indian in South Africa; sharing of Cauvery river water between States,” Naidu said.

Published on July 26, 2021

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