1. After row over Rahul Gandhi-Narendra Modi meet, Mamata Banerjee calls for Opposition unity

After row over Rahul Gandhi-Narendra Modi meet, Mamata Banerjee calls for Opposition unity

In an attempt to break the ice, she has urged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to hold a meeting of all opposition parties in the last week of December.

By: | New Delhi | Published: December 19, 2016 11:17 AM
In an attempt to break the ice, she has urged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to hold a meeting of all opposition parties in the last week of December. (PTI Image) In an attempt to break the ice, she has urged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to hold a meeting of all opposition parties in the last week of December. (PTI Image)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-debated decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 had led to an unprecedented development when a united opposition took on the government in and outside of Parliament. With the unity among them losing its sheen following Rahul Gandhi led a Congress delegation to meet PM Narendra Modi over farmers’ issues, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken on the responsibility of a damage controller. In an attempt to break the ice, she has urged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to hold a meeting of all opposition parties in the last week of December, according to The Indian Express said. According to the report, “The meeting is being used by the BJP to try and create differences within the opposition. If the opposition meets, this could be countered,” said the source. A senior TMC leader said: “People are dying and it would send out a wrong signal if the Opposition were to enjoy the winter break. The Opposition needs to continue the fight against the Centre. The Congress should hold the meeting and we will raise these issues.” The reports, however, said CM Banerjee is unlikely to attend the meeting in Delhi and would be sending senior leaders of the party.

According to the report, Mamata has communicated to Rahul the need for a meeting of opposition parties to counter reports “being spun by BJP of a Congress-Modi understanding after the meeting”. At the end of the meeting, Rahul had handed over to the Prime Minister a memorandum, seeking loan waiver for farmers and an increase in the minimum support price of crops.

Notably, to build a nationwide movement against BJP, Banerjee gave a call of putting up a united fight against the saffron party at the Centre and even managed to enlist the support of Shiv Sena, an NDA partner which had marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan along with TMC to protest against demonetisation. In her effort, she kept aside her political differences and even spoke to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. The TMC supremo did not waste a single chance of taking on Modi head-on and made the deployment of army personnel at toll plazas in the state a major issue dubbing it as a ‘coup’ attempt on the part of the Centre although the army described it a routine operation.

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