Congress calls Opposition meeting on November 4 to firm up strategy for 10-day protest over economic slowdown
The meeting is meant to seek support for the Congress’s proposed 10-day nationwide agitation targeting the government over “economic slowdown, agrarian distress, unemployment and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement”, news agency ANI reports.Updated: Nov 02, 2019 14:54 IST
Stepping up attack on the government over what it termed ‘economic slowdown and agrarian distress’, the Congress on Saturday called a meeting of all Opposition parties on November 4 to put up a united front on the issue.
The meeting is meant to seek support for the Congress’s proposed 10-day nationwide agitation targeting the government over “economic slowdown, agrarian distress, unemployment and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement”, news agency ANI reports.
A senior Congress strategist had told HT recently that the party would counter the government on the economic slowdown, particularly in the rural areas. The issue is believed to have made an impact in some constituencies in the recent state elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. The BJP stopped short of majority on its own in both states. While in Haryana, it has formed the government with the help of Dushyant Chautala’s party Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), in Maharashtra it is still in talks with its pre-poll ally Shiv Sena to form the government.
The Congress’s opposition unity move on economic slowdown comes on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Thailand to participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit, where the leaders of the member countries will review the state of negotiations.
The Congress is against the RCEP deal calling it a new threat to economy. “RCEP is an attempt at free-trade between 16 countries and the deal is being strongly resisted by the domestic industry, farmer groups, civil society organisations and opposition parties, who apprehend that China, armed with RCEP, will dump cheaper goods into India,” party spokesperson Prof. Gourav Vallabh said recently.
Indian Youth Congress workers are also organising a protest outside Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Giriraj Singh today against the proposed RCEP deal.
According to the party, the deal will result in India importing cheaper milk and milk products from countries like Australia and New Zealand which will ‘adversely affect the livelihood of over 50 million domestic milk producers of the country.’
Earlier this week, former MP and Swabhimani Paksha President Raju Shetti wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him not to go ahead with the agreement stating that it would have an adverse impact on the economy.
RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among 10 ASEAN countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their six FTA partners China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.