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TMC skips meeting of opposition parties called by Congress

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 28, 2021

Rahul Gandhi addressing media with leaders of Opposition parties , in New Delhi on Wednesday   -  Kamal Narang

Apart from the Congress and the three Left parties, DMK, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, National Conference, AAP, IUML, Kerala Congress and VCK attended the Opposition meeting

Fissures appeared in the Opposition camp as the Trinamool Congress skipped a meeting of all Opposition parties convened by the Congress here on Wednesday. Though West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in Delhi and met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, floor leaders of her party decided not to attend the meeting of 14 non-NDA parties to formulate a joint floor strategy during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, talking to reporters after the meeting, tried to play down TMC’s absence. He said the Congress-ruled State governments may also consider an enquiry into the Pegasus spyware issue. “We can consider that, but, the main point we are making is that the house there, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, is the place, where we have to speak. Everybody here unitedly, Mamata-ji, us, everybody, said that we want a discussion on Pegasus,” Gandhi said.

He claimed that the Centre is refusing a discussion on Pegasus.

“Obviously, the Government has done something wrong. Obviously, the Government has done something that is dangerous for the country, otherwise they would say- please have a discussion, so that is the real issue here,” he alleged.. He said either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah must initiate the discussion as Pegasus is a weapon, sold from one country to another country.

Apart from the Congress and the three Left parties, DMK, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, National Conference, AAP, IUML, Kerala Congress and VCK attended the Opposition meeting.

‘Opposition unity’

Banerjee, who met Sonia Gandhi and AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, said she has no issues if someone else leads the Opposition. “I want to help all the opposition parties to bell the cat. I don’t want to be a leader, but a simple cadre,” she said on the issue of leadership of Opposition. “I am not a political astrologer. It depends on the situation, structure. I have no problem if someone else leads. When the matter is discussed we can decide. I cannot impose,” Banerjee told reporters when asked about the unity of Opposition camp. “When Modi will fight the next election, it will be with the country,” she added.

In Uttar Pradesh, she said, if the leaders concerned have to win against the BJP, they have to come together. “If someone like Mayawati wants to fight alone, she will. What can I do about it? I respect all of them, as much respect as they deserve,” she said.

Rajya Sabha adjourned

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day before 3 pm on Wednesday over the Pegasus spyware issue. The Opposition members remained in the well of the House demanding a discussion on the matter.

The House passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill amid disruptions.

Earlier, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu asked the Rajya Sabha secretariat to publish the names of those members who disrupt the proceedings and hold placards.

Published on July 28, 2021

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