Big consolidation as TMC joins call to Congress to unite Opposition
The meeting was called to protest Rahul’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha after his conviction in a defamation case.
NEW DELHI: Signalling a realignment of the Opposition bloc, 18 Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), came together and asked the Congress to take the initiative to coordinate with various Opposition parties outside Parliament to challenge the government on critical issues, according to sources.
At a dinner meeting called by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday, the parties unanimously decided to work together to fight the BJP government ahead of the 2024 general elections. The meeting had representation from the DMK, NCP, JD(U), BRS, CPM, CPI and the AAP, among others. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi participated.
The meeting was called to protest Rahul’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha after his conviction in a defamation case. Earlier in the day, all 18 Opposition parties joined the Congress-led ‘save democracy’ protest in Parliament and later marched from Parliament to Vijay Chowk, reiterating their demand for a JPC to probe the Adani issue.
Speaking to this newspaper, Rajya Sabha MP and CPI (M) leader Elamaram Kareem said all Opposition parties at the dinner meeting, including the Trinamool, asked the Congress to take the lead in coordinating the fight to save democracy.
“The Congress being the largest party among the Opposition, all the parties agreed that it should take the lead in talking to other parties and fine-tuning strategies to challenge the government on issues, such as corruption (Adani issue) and Rahul’s disqualification. There was a consensus that the Congress should initiate a meeting with top leaders of all parties and take the discussion forward,” he said.
According to sources, Rahul told Opposition leaders that “it’s a collective fight to save democracy”.
Kareem said that the parties decided to hold more meetings in the coming days to plan strategies.
Now, Rahul gets notice to vacate govt bungalow
Disqualified Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was on Monday directed by the Lok Sabha Secretariat to vacate his government-allotted bungalow at 12, Tughlaq Lane by April 22. “You are allowed to retain Bungalow No 12, Tughlak Lane along with its units, for a maximum period of one month up to 22.04.2023. The allotment...shall deem to have been cancelled w.e.f. 23.04.2023,” the notice said