Oppn Call for Repealing CAA & Stopping NRC, 6 Parties Skip Meet

The DMK, BSP, TMC and AAP skipped the meeting chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

3 min read
Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday, convened by her to deliberate on the widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act.

Stating that the "spirit of resistance has awoken", Opposition parties on Monday, 13 January, called for repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act and "immediate stoppage of the NRC/NPR" on grounds that the "package" is unconstitutional and targets the poor and downtrodden.

The meeting, convened by the Congress, saw chinks in the opposition ranks with leaders of about 20 political parties attending it but six major parties – DMK, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Shiv Sena – choosing to stay away.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have the courage to speak to the students in universities on why the economy of the country has become a disaster, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, while asserting that the PM did "not have the guts" to do so.

"Narendra Modi should stand up and have the courage to speak to the youngsters of these universities on why the economy has become a disaster, why has it become a basket case and why unemployment in India is at its highest in 50 years.

"Unfortunately, the prime minister of the country does not have the guts to do this," Gandhi said.

Govt Has Let Loose Reign of Oppression: Sonia Gandhi

Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi also slammed the BJP, saying that the nation ‘watched in horror as the BJP orchestrated an assault on JNU’. The attack came soon after what happened in Jamia, BHU, Allahabad University, AMU and other institutions of higher learning, she added.

Gandhi’s comments came at a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday, convened by her to deliberate on the widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the violence on campuses. The meeting, however, was skipped by a significant number of parties, including Congress’ long-term ally DMK.

"The Modi-Shah government stands exposed for its inability to govern and provide security to people,” she said.

“Government has let loose a reign of oppression, and is spreading hatred and trying to divide people along sectarian lines.”
Sonia Gandhi, Interim Congress President

She further said that PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have misled people on CAA, NRC and have contradicted their own statements on the issue.

Union Minister and BJP leader RS Prasad said that the Opposition unity “stands exposed” in this meeting itself as major political parties did not participate.

“The resolution passed today must have gladdened the hearts of Pakistan,” said Prasad.

BSP & TMC Give Cong-Led Opposition Meet a Miss

Apart from the DMK, various other Opposition parties were also absent from the meeting.

Mayawati’s BSP, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC have stayed away from the meeting attended by representatives of 20 parties in all.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had earlier announced that she would stay away from the meeting as she differed with the approach of Congress and Left parties over the issue, while accusing them of vandalism in the name of protests.

BSP chief Mayawati tweeted about skipping the meeting, accusing the Congress of breaking away from its MLAs in Rajasthan.

On the other hand, speaking to news agency ANI, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that the party had no information about the meeting.

“It makes no sense to attend a meeting we have no information about,” he said.

Who Attended the Meeting

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, JMM leader and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, LJD chief Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leader Upendra Kushwaha, RJD leader Manoj Jha, National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi, besides Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and former prime minister Manmohan Singh were among those present.

This was the first key meeting of Opposition parties since student-led protests over CAA gained momentum across the country. The joint Opposition move also assumes significance as it comes soon after Delhi election dates have been announced.

The last time a majority of opposition leaders got together was at the swearing-in of Hemant Soren as Jharkhand chief minister.

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