When Congress president Sonia Gandhi met select party leaders for a strategy meeting to discuss the Uttarakhand issue on Thursday evening, she mentioned “non-cooperation” at least thrice, underlining perhaps the party’s approach towards the upcoming second session of Parliament.
The Congress has identified nine issues, including the Centre’s role in dismantling the Uttarakhand government, to attack the NDA in the session that starts from Monday.
After the near wash-out of the two sessions last year, the government is looking ahead to the second half of the budget session to push bills, including the all-important Goods and Services Tax Bill, touted as the biggest tax reform in India.
In the meeting, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders like AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge were present. Singh spoke the least but he, too, maintained that the Centre had “crossed its lines”.
All leaders echoed Gandhi’s sentiments and said there should be no cooperation with the government on any issue and the party must unite other opposition forces to attack the NDA in the upcoming session.
In Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, party leader Anand Sharma has already moved a motion to deplore the government’s role. The proposal says, “That this House deplores the destabilisation of the democratically elected government in the state of Uttarakhand and disapproves the unjustified imposition of President’s rule.”
Apart from the Uttarakhand issue that came as a “double blow” for the Congress after the dismissal of its government in Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress also identified the Pathankot issue, the Ishrat Jahan case, drought management, and communalisation of education institutes as some raging issues to hold up the session.
On Ishrat, the Congress feels that the BJP is now trying to falsely implicate senior Congress leaders. “Pathankot probe, too, is a grey issue. How can the government invite and allow ISI agents to visit our airbase and conduct a farce in the name of a probe on Indian soil?” said a Congress leader. Former defence minister AK Antony was vocal in the meeting on the Pathankot issue as well as the Rafale deal that is yet to be signed.