Opposition accuses Modi govt of conspiring to break their unity
The Opposition parties on Wednesday accused the Narendra Modi government of conspiring to break their unity but asserted they would not waver from their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus snooping controversy in Parliament, followed by a debate on the farmers’ protests.
To stamp out any misgivings or confusion about the stand of the Opposition, the parties issued a joint statement iterating their demand for discussion and condemning the government’s stubborn denial of any debate on pressing issues.
At least two leaders publicly accused the government of trying to create divisions while another said on the condition of anonymity that “pressure was being exerted to move on and not stick to Pegasus”. The Opposition also spoke about efforts to malign its protest by criticising the disruption of Parliament.
The joint statement by the Opposition parties, which included the Aam Aadmi Party that had not been present at Rahul Gandhi’s breakfast meeting on Tuesday, said: “The Opposition parties stand firm and united on their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue in both Houses, replied to by the home minister, as this has national security dimensions. The Opposition has also unequivocally conveyed that the discussion on the farmers’ issues and agitations arising from the three anti-farmer and black agriculture laws should follow the discussion on Pegasus.”
The statement was signed by Mallikarjun Kharge and Anand Sharma of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, T.R. Baalu and Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Derek O’Brien and Kalyan Banerjee of the Trinamul Congress, Sanjay Raut and Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena, Manoj Jha of the RJD, Elamaram Kareem of the CPM, Sushil Gupta of the AAP, Mohd Basheer of the Indian Union Muslim League, Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference, Binoy Viswam of the CPI, N.K. Premachandran of the RSP and M.V. Shreyams Kumar of the Loktantrik Janata Dal.
Jairam Ramesh, the Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, tweeted: “Opposition is united in spite of Modi Government’s efforts to break the unity.”
Opposition is united in spite of Modi Govt’s efforts to break the unity. We demand:— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 4, 2021
1. First, a discussion on the Pegasus scandal and its impact on national security with a reply by the Home Minister.
2. A repeal of the 3 black farm laws with a discussion on farmers' concerns.
Trinamul MP O’Brien said on social media: “Desperate BJP trying to divide Opposition in Parliament. Good try. But you failed. All Opposition parties want Parliament to run….”