Opposition parties' 11-day protest against Centre begins today. Here's what's on agenda
From Monday, nineteen opposition parties will hold protests and demonstrations across the country against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre. The protests will go on till the end of September. Opposition leaders said that the form of these protests will be decided by the respective state units of their parties, depending on conditions of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) norms in their states.
At a virtual meeting in August, the opposition parties stressed on unitedly moving forward to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The leaders of these parties also issued an 11-point charter of demands before the Centre. “We will jointly organise protest actions all over the country from 20th to 30th September, 2021,” the leaders said in a joint statement after the virtual meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
The demands include a repeal of the three new farm legislations, a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the Pegasus hacking controversy, early elections in Jammu and Kashmir and release of all political detainees there and a high-level probe into the Rafale deal.
“We, the leaders of 19 Opposition parties, call upon the people of India to rise to the occasion to defend our secular, democratic, republican order with all our might. Save India today, so that we can change it for a better tomorrow,” the opposition leaders said in a joint statement.
The leaders blamed the Centre for an abrupt end of the monsoon session of Parliament, accusing it of not holding talks on the Pegasus issue, new farm legislations, inflation, price rise, unemployment and also the alleged management of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. They demanded an immediate speeding up of the vaccination drive against Covid-19 to prevent the third wave of the pandemic.
“Apart from denying the Opposition their right to raise crucial issues concerning the country and the people, the government steamrolled legislations through the din of the disruption caused by its handling of both Houses of Parliament,” the leaders further said in the statement
The opposition leaders also strongly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Independence Day (August 15), by saying it was full of rhetoric, empty slogans and disinformation and was a repackaging of speeches given in 2019 and 2020.
(With agency inputs)