NEW DELHI: BSP President Mayawati on Monday said her party will not attend the Congress-led opposition meeting to discuss a strategy on protests over the CAA and NRC, saying it will "demoralise" her party workers.
In a series of tweets, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said her party is against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) but attending the meeting will demoralise BSP workers in Rajasthan, where the Congress has caused defections in her party.
"As is well known that despite the BSP support to the Congress-led Rajasthan government from outside, it has been for the second time that BSP MLAs have been made to join their party which is completely wrong," Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Under such circumstances, the BSP attending the opposition meeting today under the leadership of the Congress will be demoralising for party workers in Rajasthan. Therefore, the BSP will not attend this meeting," she said.
However, she made it clear that the BSP is against the CAA and NRC "As it is, the BSP is against CAA/ NRC etc. It is an appeal to the central government again that it should withdraw this divisive and unconstitutional law. Also, It is very unfortunate to politicize students in JNU and other educational institutions" she added.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will also skip Monday's meeting, senior party leader Sanjay Singh said.
Singh said the AAP had no information about the meeting and so, there was no point in attending it.
Sources, however, claimed that the AAP is not attending the meeting in view of the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi.
The AAP had opposed the contentious law in Parliament and even participated in a meeting of opposition parties held last month.
The Shiv Sena on Monday claimed it was "not aware" of the opposition parties meeting.
"We are not aware of such a meeting. We have not been invited for it. So, we have not taken any decision on it so far," Shiv Sena's Group Leader in Lok Sabha Vinayak Raut told the media.
In Mumbai, top Sena leaders chose to remain mum on the sensitive issue and said only the Shiv Sena Lok Sabha Party chief would decide and speak on the matter.
The Shiv Sena is ruling Maharashtra in alliance with Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress since November 28.
This is another instance in recent weeks that the Sena has adopted a divergent stance on certain issues which created ripples in the tri-party alliance.
However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly made it clear that the state government will not allow injustice to any section of society if the CAA/NRC/NPR is implemented.
The state Congress has held several agitations on the CAA/NRC/NPR and for the first time, NCP President Sharad Pawar will lead a rally to oppose these laws on January 24 in Mumbai.
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has already announced its decision to stay away from the meet.
On December 17 last year, when the Opposition parties had approached President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention on the issue of violence in central universities against the amended Citizenship law, the BSP had not joined them.
A parliamentary delegation of the BSP, however, had met Kovind on December 18 to discuss the issue.
Trinamool chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on January 9 said she would not attend the meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Accusing the Congress and the Left of playing “dirty politics” Mamata said in Kolkata that she would fight against the CAA-NRC alone as the opposition politics in the state was against their national stand.
"I have decided not to attend the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi as I don’t support the violence that the Left and the Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday),” she said in the Assembly.
“If needed, I will fight alone.”
There were fierce clashes between Trinamool and Left workers in the state during the Bharat bandh.
According to Congress sources, Mamata’s decision to pull out of the opposition meeting scheduled in Parliament annexe was more because of the Left parties, keeping in mind the state politics.
While other opposition parties are expected to attend, there were doubts about both BSP and Akhilesh Yadav-led SP attending. They had skipped the opposition meets in the past.
“We expect that the BSP will skip the meeting as Mayawati is upset over Priyanka’s outreach programs in UP that also includes people from Dalit and other backward classes... BSP is very unpredictable but we hope that SP will attend the meeting,” said a Congress source.
(With ENS and IANS Inputs)