BENGALURU: Former UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is expected to attend the all-opposition parties’ meeting scheduled in Bengaluru on July 17 and 18, said Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar here on Monday.
Interestingly, Congress is planning a massive silent protest on July 12 against Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as Lok Sabha member, terming it a ‘BJP conspiracy’. Political analysts wondered if Rahul’s removal would be included as an agenda in the opposition parties’ meeting.
Shivakumar said, “We unitedly condemn the conspiracy to try to harm him politically. Opposition parties should send out a message that they and the entire country is behind Rahul.’’
He said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, cabinet ministers, party national general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, MPs, MLAs, Congress workers and supporters will hold the day-long protest at Freedom Park from 10 am on Wednesday. “AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge has given the call for the protest at all major centres across the country. I appeal to all party workers in the state to take part in this protest,’’ he added.
“BJP is jealous and unable to bear the sight of love and affection showered on Rahul during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. He was disqualified virtually overnight. Let us not forget that the party won all the seats along the route that he took during the yatra in the state,’’ he said.
“As the first yatra was such a success, Rahul’s political advisors have told him to take another yatra from east to west. In the meantime, BJP has hatched this cruel conspiracy as they are unable to tolerate his success and popularity,” he said.
On scrapping Muslim reservations, he said, “We will discuss the matter at length. I will come back with the government’s response after getting complete information.”
On most states not interested in buying rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), he said, “We want to buy rice from FCI and we are not asking it for free.”
Asked about his visit to Indira Canteen on Sunday, he said, “I urge all MLAs to visit Indira Canteens at least once a week and see how they are functioning.’’ On the murder of Jain seer Acharya Kamakumar Nandi Maharaj, he said, “Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara will respond to this because the police are investigating the matter.”