At Kharge’s dinner meet, 18 parties come together to take Modi govt head-on

Talks between party leaders will continue on exploring ways to ensure that the Opposition continues a united fight against the BJP after the Parliament session

Opposition meet, Kharge
Kharge has already spoken to several Opposition leaders about forging unity among like-minded parties to take on the BJP | File photo

At a meeting called by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence on Monday (March 27), leaders from 18 Opposition parties decided to take the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre head-on both inside and outside Parliament.

According to sources close to the Congress president, the agenda of the meeting was to discuss the Opposition unity, beyond a coordinated floor strategy in Parliament, after senior leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP. On Monday, he was also asked to vacate his official residence in New Delhi.

Rahul was on Thursday sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark. He was subsequently disqualified from Lok Sabha.

Also read: Din in Parliament; TMC joins Opposition protest, Kharge says PM has no answers

According to sources, the leaders from 18 parties decided to go for a joint agitation against the government both inside and outside Parliament, besides seeking a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the Adani issue.

It was also decided to ‘wear black’, at least for another day (tomorrow’s proceedings), in protest against Rahul’s disqualification.

It’s learnt that talks between party leaders will continue to explore ways to ensure that the Opposition continues a united fight against the BJP after the Parliament session too.

Also Read: Disqualification aftermath: Rahul Gandhi’s second coming

Kharge also assured Opposition leaders that he would ensure that their concerns about the lack of “similar approach by Congress to extend support” to their leaders/parties if and when central agencies under the Modi government targets them will be addressed.

Press meets in 35 cities

Upping the ante, the Congress will hold press conferences in 35 cities over the next two days on Democracy DisQualified while also highlighting other issues, such as the Adani matter and the alleged “clean chit” to fugitives.

“Senior Congress leaders will address press conferences in 35 cities on March 28 and 29 on Democracy DisQualified,” Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said on Monday.

On March 28, there will be press conferences in four cities Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in Lucknow (UP), Ajay Maken in Jammu (J&K), Ashok Chavan in Hyderabad (Telangana) and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu in Chandigarh.

On March 29, there will be press conferences in 31 cities. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will address a presser in Ahmedabad, Anand Sharma in Bengaluru, Supriya Shrinate in Chandigarh, Shaktisinh Gohil in Shimla, Manish Tewari in Thiruvananthapuram, Kanhaiya Kumar in Surat, Gourav Vallabh in Varanasi, Pawan Khera in Mumbai, and Salman Khurshid in Srinagar, among other places.

Attacking the BJP over Rahul’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha, Congress leaders and workers held protests across the country on Sunday, with party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accusing the government of “trying to silence” a “martyrs son” for raising the voice of people.