Rahul Gandhi chairs the Opposition meeting in Parliament, to push the issues for Pegasus snoop-gate and Farmer Bills.
It was a feisty meeting and the Congress members threw papers at Chair, Treasury benches while protesting over Pegasus, farmers’ issues in the Lok Sabha.
During the meeting, several of the Opposition floor leaders argued that the message that needs to go out to the BJP should be of Opposition unity and there should be no division or misunderstanding among them and gathering together, they mounted pressure on the government for a discussion in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah.
On Wednesday, sources said, all the opposition parties would give adjournment notices in the Lok Sabha on the Pegasus scandal.
Sources in the Opposition parties claimed that the government side had indicated that it was ready for a discussion on any subject, barring the Pegasus revelations. The government’s move to push through two bills during the din in the Lok Sabha on Monday has also infuriated opposition parties.
Besides Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and the party’s floor managers, the meeting was attended by, among others, the DMK’s T R Baalu and Kanimozhi, the NCP’s Supriya Sule, the Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant, the Kerala Congress (M)’s Thomas Chazhikadan, the National Conference’s Hasnain Masoodi, the RSP’s N K Premachandran, the Muslim League’s E T Mohd Basheer and the CPM’s S Venkatesan and AM Ariff.
“Won’t compromise on inflation, Pegasus, farmers’ issues,” says Rahul Gandhi.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We want a discussion and a probe monitored by the Supreme Court. Many countries have ordered investigations. France has ordered an inquiry, Hungary, and Germany too, I am told, have set up probes. I don’t understand why our government is trying to hide. Our government is saying there is nothing in the revelations. If there is nothing in it, then why are you hiding? Why don’t you set up a probe like other countries,”
Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said “the blame of the deadlock in Parliament lies squarely at the door of the government.”
The Opposition leaders joined senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge for a joint Press conference outside the Parliament and Mallikarjun Kharge said, “This government has functioned in a manner that has lowered the prestige of Indian Parliament and Indian democracy. What the opposition has demanded is fair, correct, within the ambit of rules and established Parliament practice and conventions. When collectively, the opposition gives a notice… that matter has to be discussed, Parliament is not convened only for the legislative agenda of the government. Parliament is meant to raise issues of national importance… that’s what we are doing,” he said.
Seven opposition parties, led by former BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and urging him to direct the government to discuss the farmers’ issue and the snooping controversy in Parliament. The BSP, NCP, RLP, National Conference, CPI, and the CPI(M) were the other signatories to the letter. The Congress, the Akali Dal’s main rival in Punjab, was not a signatory.
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi drove a tractor to Parliament in support of the protesting farmers and for this, the Delhi police filed a case against him!
The SAD rallied the six parties to write the letter to the President.
“We members of parliament (MPs) of various political parties are writing to you to seek an appointment to apprise you of two disturbing developments including the complete stonewalling of demands of the peasantry to repeal the three agricultural laws as well as the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus to tape telephones of politicians, journalists, and activists,” the letter read.
“We seek your benign intervention to uphold the dignity of the Constitution of India and parliamentary rules and procedures. The country is going through an Emergency-like situation and the Parliament of India is going through an unprecedented crisis….”
The Center’s refusal to answer questions is raising citizen’s voices to say, “The one who is running away from debate and discussions is the Government. They are incompetent to answer. They just bulldoze the bills.”
The Center may feel they rule the roost because of a majority of 300 in the house but unless they start listening to the people, that 300 will dwindle down.