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Opposition meets on Pegasus issue, farm protests

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on August 03, 2021

Lalu meets Sharad Pawar, Mulayam

Even as the Opposition continued to disrupt proceedings in both Houses of Parliament, 15 Opposition parties gathered here at a breakfast meeting convened by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and decided to step up their protests demanding discussions on Pegasus spyware issue and ongoing agitations of farmers.

After the meeting, the Opposition leaders rode bicycles to Parliament as a protest against rising prices of fuel.

Govt stance criticised

Addressing the leaders, Gandhi and Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge condemned the government stance in not allowing discussion on Pegasus in the Parliament.

Gandhi said in Twitter after the meeting that the priority of the Opposition is the country and its people.

Addressing the leaders, he said the Opposition stands united against Narendra Modi government’s undemocratic ways.

“The Opposition stands united to uphold our nation’s interests. Single most important thing in my view is that we unite this force of people. The more this voice unites, the more powerful this voice will become, the more difficult it will become for BJP and RSS to suppress it,” he said.

He said the Opposition can have a few discussions and arguments but it is important for the parties to come up with the principles of the foundations of their unity.

‘Opposition unity’

The DMK, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, CPI(M), CPI, IUML, RSP, KC(M), JMM, National Conference and LJD were present in the meeting along with the Trinamool Congress, which was absent in the previous meeting. AAP and BSP, though did not attend the meeting, but pledged support to the Opposition on both the issues. Shiromani Akali Dal, which held separate protests inside the House complex, said they will also support any joint effort by Opposition inside Parliament.

Old guard meets

Meanwhile, fuelling speculations about old guards of Opposition getting active, RJD supremo Lalu Yadav met NCP president Sharad Pawar at the latter’s Delhi residence. Yadav was accompanied by LJD leader Sharad Yadav. Lalu Yadav said he wanted to meet Pawar who was not keeping well and said the absence of pro-people leaders like him have created a vacuum in Parliament and issues of people are not raised in both the Houses.

Lalu Yadav had also met SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. He also supported Chirag Paswan on the issue of rift within the LJP. He said he wanted his son and Opposition leader in Bihar Tejashwi Yadav and Paswan to work together. He demanded a probe into the Pegasus issue and said the guilty must be punished.

Published on August 03, 2021

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