New Delhi: Leaders of the Congress and other opposition parties are likely to meet on 13 January to develop a combined strategy to take on the Narendra Modi government, in light of the violence in different universities and the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Members of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), such as the National Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), are expected to attend the meeting.
The parties will discuss key issues including the violent attacks on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, the Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the economic slowdown, sources told ThePrint.
The formation of a strategic group is also in the works, to conceptualise the future course of action for the parties.
“Right now, this is a preliminary meeting and will include only UPA allies,” a leader from one of the parties told ThePrint.
“After this, we plan to reach out to others who have opposed CAA-NRC, including Nitish Kumar, K. Chandrashekar Rao, Jagan Reddy and Uddhav Thackeray,” he added.
“It is likely that there is a meeting on 13 January,” said CPI leader D. Raja. “We are contacting everyone and will be discussing the current political scenario.”
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Opposition trying to get its act together
Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi had spoken to CPI general secretary Sitaram Yechury about the meeting almost a week ago, a CPI leader told ThePrint.
According to a Congress functionary, the conversation kick-started the call for a meeting of opposition parties.
The meeting comes after masked assailants attacked the students of JNU Sunday. In its aftermath, a fresh wave of protests broke out across the country over the Delhi Police’s alleged inaction and the impunity with which the students were attacked. JNU was the third university to have experienced violence, after Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia.
The parties have been protesting in their individual capacities but now plan to evolve a cohesive strategy on the issues. While the Opposition was unable to muster the numbers in Parliament to stop the passage of the citizenship bill, they are now hoping to focus their attention on countering it through other means.
“We are up against a government that offers no space for dissent or peaceful protest,” a senior Congress leader told ThePrint. “In such a situation, we have to come together and fight.”
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