Opposition unity shattering? Congress allies pull out of protest after Rahul Gandhi meets PM Modi alone
The much talked about unity in the Congress-led Opposition camp appears to be shattering at the moment.
New Delhi: The much talked about unity in the Congress-led Opposition camp appears to be shattering at the moment.
In apparent signs of cracks within the Opposition, a host of parties, including Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, NCP, DMK and the Left parties, today pulled out of the demonetisation protest march to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, minutes before it was to begin from the Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises.
Leaders of these parties were reportedly upset with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi with select Congress MPs this morning.
Opposition leaders questioned why Rahul Gandhi went with only a handful of Congress MPs to meet the PM and did not take along representatives of other parties.
Sources said that around 9.30 am it was decided in a meeting that all Opposition leaders will meet PM Modi but BSP chief Mayawati and leaders from Samajwadi Party expressed anger over Rahul's meeting with the PM alone with his party MPs.
"Are we not concerned about the plight of farmers?" asked a leader of the BSP, which is a major player in the Uttar Pradesh elections, as is the Samajwadi Party, which rules the state and is seeking another term.
NCP leader Praful Patel said, "We were together in the Parliament. It would be better if they would have taken all along. Outside house everyone has a different role."
The rift in the Opposition became clear after some of the parties (Left, SP, BSP, NCP and DMK) decided to stay away from the protest march to meet the President over farmer’s issue and demonetisation.
At the meeting, Rahul Gandhi raised with the Prime Minister the plight of farmers who he met during a tour of Uttar Pradesh while campaigning in the state, where elections will be held soon.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi led a considerably whittled down Opposition delegation to meet the President and not the 15 that have together attacked the government over its decision to ban 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and its impact on the people, disrupting the entire winter session, which ended today.