Fight against land bill: Opposition and civil societies to challenge BJP

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 03, 2015 23:52 IST

Opposition parties are getting a helping hand from civil society groups as well as NGOs to garner crowds for rallies and protest movements, as they attempt to revive their support base to challenge the BJP that has hit the expansion route.

While the Congress is deepening its ties with top activist outfits, the Left parties that enjoy a dedicated-cadre base have also changed tack to fraternise with these groups at public meetings.

Last month, the Congress roped in Ekta Parishad, National Alliance for People’s Movement, Dilli Grameen Samaj, Bhartiya Kisan Union and other fringe organisations when it launched its offensive against the government’s land law at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

At a convention to oppose the legislation on Thursday, 11 parties including the Congress and the CPI(M) took the stage with more than 42 civil society groups.

“You (activists) must continue the fight. We are with you,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

He also didn’t mince words when he said, “We want a liberal democracy. Bring back UPA 3.”

At the same event, CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said, “We will fight shoulder to shoulder with you. You raise your voice on the ground. We will take your message to Parliament.”

Yechury’s party colleague Hannan Mollah said the CPI(M) was keen to rope in more civil society groups as political parties alone cannot ensure the success of people’s movements.

Three years ago, the Congress-led UPA government was the prime target of social activist Anna Hazare during his anti-corruption campaign. But now, as the Congress is pitted against Narendra Modi’s BJP, it is willing to join hands with Hazare to oppose the land ordinance.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had recently written to the activist to share his concerns over the NDA government's land bill.

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