Opposition parties meet; express concern over economic crisis

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 04, 2019

Thirteen Opposition parties that met here on Monday expressed concern over growing problems in various sectors due to the “economic slowdown” and called for “united protests” against Narendra Modi government’s policies.

The meeting — which was not attended by NCP, SP and BSP — also decided to raise unemployment, agrarian distress and such issues in Parliament when it meets for Winter Session in the third week of this month.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi invited the leaders for the meeting, but she herself was absent from it and senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel represented the Congress in the meeting.

The leaders also asked the Centre to protect and uphold the interests of farmers, fishermen and small-scale industries and keep away from signing RCEP in its present form.

Unemployment crisis

Azad said unemployment and job loss have touched the highest levels in the last 50 years’ history of the country. “Every section of the people is unhappy. People do not have money. But BJP does not have any dearth of money,” Azad said. He said the issues of snooping and the disturbances in Kashmir were also discussed but a joint opinion on the issues will be taken later. “We discussed the agrarian crisis, economic slowdown and the RCEP,” Azad said and added that Centre does not care for the economy.

“Despite the best efforts by the Centre to change the way it is calculated, GDP remained low in the last six years. We were the fifth fastest growing economy and now our position is seventh, and we may go further down. The Centre has done nothing about this,” Azad added.

He said unemployment and job losses have impacted not just educated youth, but also uneducated and skilled workers too. Azad said Opposition parties have been holding protests and agitations at State level.

“We have decided to meet again during the session so that all such protests can brought under one platform,” the Opposition leader said.

Snooping issue

The meeting also discussed the issue of hacking of phones of Opposition leaders and activists, including AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, using a spy software Pegasus. The leaders decided to meet President Ram Nath Kovind with a memorandum signed by those present at the meeting.

DMK’s TR Baalu, CPI’s D Raja, RLD’s Ajit Singh and veteran MP Sharad Yadav also participated in the meeting along with the leaders of JD(S), KC(M), IUML, RSP and Trinamool Congress.

Published on November 04, 2019

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