Lukewarm response to Congress call of nationwide stir against Centre

One issue where the entire Opposition is on the same page is supporting the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer organisations on September 27 against the three farm laws.
Youth Congress activists polish shoes during their agitation to mark the birthday of PM Narendra Modi as ‘National Unemployment Day’ in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)
Youth Congress activists polish shoes during their agitation to mark the birthday of PM Narendra Modi as ‘National Unemployment Day’ in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  The plan of the Opposition parties to launch a joint protest against the Modi government’s policies from September 20-30, agreed upon after a meeting called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last month, has received lukewarm response. Some key regional players remain non-committal despite the Congress urging them to work with them.

One issue where the entire Opposition is on the same page is supporting the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer organisations on September 27 against the three farm laws. “These are more like individual (Congress) events planned by the respective parties, although farm laws are also part of key issues short-listed during the joint meet,” said an Opposition party leader.      

According to Congress sources, there has been no communication between the parties since then on and it is up to each player if they want to join the protest on mutually agreed issues at the August 20 meeting attended by leaders of 19 parties. Congress has issued a directive to state units to organise protests, sit-ins and marches at state, district and block levels against the policies of the government. 

Key regional players like Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have not planned any protest during the 10-day period other than on September 27. A RJD leader said the party is holding a training drive for cadres on September 21 and 22 and there are no protests planned from September 20.
Opposition-ruled states where Congress is in alliance — like Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu — would see primary alliance partners Shiv Sena, NCP, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, DMK and the Left participate in protests on September 20.

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