Opposition looks to close ranks on inflation
Opposition leaders are seeking to close ranks to protest against inflation, just as they had done in April-May before their cut motions got defeated in Parliament.delhi Updated: Jun 28, 2010 00:31 IST
Opposition leaders are seeking to close ranks to protest against inflation, just as they had done in April-May before their cut motions got defeated in Parliament.
Last time, before the general budget was passed, the motions were defeated because the Samajwadi Party, RJD and Left did not want to appear to vote with the BJP. This time, the issue does not entail a vote in Parliament.
Sharad Yadav, the NDA’s acting convenor and Janata Dal(U) chief, is trying to convince the leaders to work the government into a corner ahead of the monsoon session, which begins in the last week of July.
Yadav, who has spoken to leaders of the BJP, Left, SP, TDP, INLD and RJD, also mooted the idea of a Bharat bandh.
The date for a nationwide stoppage of work to protest the government’s failure to rein in prices is yet to be finalised, but Yadav expects a positive response from other leaders.
There won’t be any joint meeting or rally, only a campaign to ensure the bandh is successful in the respective states.
With elections due in Bihar in October and West Bengal and Tamil Nadu next year and UPA allies like the Trinamool Congress and DMK uneasy over the price hike, the Opposition wants to put the Congress in a spot.
On June 25, as the Opposition cried hoarse over the hike, the UPA’s key allies — Trinamool and DMK — did some shadow-boxing over the decision of the empowered group of ministers to free oil pricing from controls.
The government and the Congress said they were confident of weathering any Opposition campaign. They also did not expect the Trinamool or DMK to rock the UPA.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said, “We do not want to quarrel as it won’t look nice... We are not a very big party but we can raise our voice.”
The DMK’s M.K. Alagiri only said, “The decision will have an adverse effect on the general price level. Therefore, any further increase will hit purchasing power adversely.”