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Opposition meets to plan House strategy against Modi government

The Congress and the other Opposition parties decided to oppose the government’s move to hold simultaneous elections to assemblies and the Lok Sabha, 100% FDI in single-brand retail, and the proposed changes in labour laws.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2018 08:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Opposition,Modi government,House strategy
Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar at Parliament House on the first day of the Budget session in New Delhi on Monday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The Congress and the other Opposition parties are planning a cohesive strategy and a joint action to counter the Centre on various issues during Parliament’s Budget session, which began on Monday.

At a meeting of Opposition parties at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday evening, the leaders decided to oppose the government’s move to hold simultaneous elections to assemblies and the Lok Sabha, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single-brand retail, and the proposed changes in labour laws.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly pushed for simultaneous elections, saying a continuous cycle of elections across the country harms development works due to enforcement of the model code of conduct, besides incurring a huge cost on the exchequer.

Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI’s D Raja, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and NCP’s Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel were among those who attended the meeting at Pawar’s house.

The Opposition is of the view that the idea behind the move is that the BJP wants to make the elections “Modi-centric” and ride on his popularity.

“We will not allow that,” said a leader who attended the meeting.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s proposal to move an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was not discussed, D Raja said.

However, the Congress appears disinclined to move the motion, even though it was yet to make clear its official stand.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will on February 1 chair a meeting of the Opposition parties to discuss the floor coordination and formulate a cohesive strategy for the ongoing budget session of Parliament, leaders aware of the development said.

NCP’s Patel told reporters that the suggestive crisis in the country’s judiciary, attacks on the Constitution and constitutional institutions, triple talaq bill, rising unemployment and the state of the country’s economy are some of the issues that aee expected to be discussed at the February 1 meeting.

The recent incidents of communal violence in some parts of the country and the alleged atrocities on women will also be taken up, he said.

NC’s Abdullah suggested that the Opposition leaders should regularly hold such interactions and plan joint action both inside and outside Parliament.

Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi spoke to Pawar in the Central Hall after President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen discussing some issues with Pawar and with party’s Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha separately. The two were then joined by D Raja.

While Tankha had a word with law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, finance minister Arun Jaitley was also seen talking to Anand Sharma.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 23:39 IST