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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Opposition to raise farm distress, Rafale deal in Rajya Sabha

While the agrarian crisis tops the list for opposition leaders in the upper house, a perceived breakdown of constitutional bodies and the Centre’s failure to create jobs are the other key issues.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2018 07:57 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan times, New Delhi
As the tussle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Rafale jet fighter deal persists, opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha have identified three key issues on which to corner the ruling dispensation in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, political leaders said on Thursday.
As the tussle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Rafale jet fighter deal persists, opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha have identified three key issues on which to corner the ruling dispensation in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, political leaders said on Thursday.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

As the tussle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Rafale jet fighter deal persists, opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha have identified three key issues on which to corner the ruling dispensation in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, political leaders said on Thursday.

While the agrarian crisis tops the list for opposition leaders in the upper house, a perceived breakdown of constitutional bodies and the Centre’s failure to create jobs are the other key issues. The other Opposition parties have also agreed to support the Congress in its confrontation with the BJP over the Rafale issue.

“There is a broad agreement between different Opposition parties on the subjects that we should take up during the session,” said the Trinamool Congress floor leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien.

Close on the heels of the BJP’s defeat in three heartland states, its rivals have realized that the farm issue can be the most important political weapon to take on the government. Many analysts have concluded that farm distress has contributed a large extent to the BJP’s defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The Opposition groups now want to up the ante on the issue inside Parliament, said a Congress leader.

But their plans to confront the government may have to wait as disruptions in the House led to an adjournment for the second day of the Rajya Sabha. The house on Thursday couldn’t transact any business following another round of protests by Tamil Nadu parties inside the well over the Cauvery river waters issue.

Soon after the House paid its respects to the nine persons who laid down their lives 17 years ago when terrorists attacked Parliament House and the listed papers were presented, members belonging to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) trooped into the centre of the house shouting slogans.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu warned that he would be forced to adjourn proceedings for the day if members did not return to their seats and allow the house to function. “I would like to urge members to at least allow the house today... nine persons had laid down their lives to protect Parliament. Wrong message will go (out),” he said.

At a meeting between different party leaders on Thursday, the opposition demanded at least two debates on issues of their choice every week.

A section of the opposition also alleged that the BJP, to stall any debate on the Rafale deal, is tolerant with the protests by Tamil Nadu parties. The BJP refuted the allegation as baseless, and added that its ministers were in talks with the Tamil Nadu parties to convince them to allow the house to function.

First Published: Dec 14, 2018 07:14 IST

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