Setback for Congress: Mamata, Mayawati to skip key Opposition meet to devise counter-strategy on CAA today

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Published: January 13, 2020 9:20:41 AM

The meeting, called by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, comes amid prolonged protests by students and civil society groups opposing the passage of CAA in Parliament.

sonia gandhi, mamata banerjee, mayawati, caa, nrc protests, opposition meeting The meeting has been called by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo/PTI)

Mamata, Mayawati skip Opposition meeting: In what could dent the Congress’ attempts to chalk out an effective strategy to corner the Narendra Modi-led central government on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the economy, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati may join West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in skipping the meeting of Opposition parties in the national capital today.

The meeting, likely to be attended by leaders of the Congress, Left, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is set to see discussions on an elaborate plan by these parties to put up a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party on CAA and the economy. While Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had already made it clear that she will not be a part of the meeting, multiple reports say Mayawati is also set to give the meeting a skip.

The meeting, called by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, comes amid prolonged protests by students and civil society groups opposing the passage of CAA in Parliament. The foremost agenda at the meeting will be to formulate a strategy to counter the government on CAA, the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).

Mamata Banerjee, one of the fiercest voices against the BJP and Prime Minister Modi on the issue, refused to be part of Congress’ attempts to put up a united opposition front against the BJP, flaying the grand old party and the Left for indulging in violence in the name of anti-CAA protests. While Mamata maintains she will not allow CAA and the NRC to be implemented in West Bengal, she is clearly keeping the Congress at safe distance. This was clearly visible when attempts by the Congress to bet Mamata to pass a resolution in the West Bengal Assembly opposing the CAA was dismissed by the state government.

Former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati has also minced no words in her criticism of the Congress. Refusing to attend the meeting of Opposition parties called by the Congress, Mayawati said BSP’s participation would dent the morale of the party unit in Rajasthan where her party MLAs have defected to the grand old party. “Despite BSP offering outside support to the Congress government in Rajasthan, they (Congress) have engineered a defection of our party MLAs into their fold for the second time. This is back-stabbing. In such a scenario, BSP’s participation in a meeting called by the Congress would dent the morale of the party unit in Rajasthan. The BSP will not attend this meeting,” she wrote on Twitter.

Mayawati has been vocal of her opposition to the Congress for quite some time now. Taking on Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over her recent visit to Rajasthan, Mayawati flayed her for skipping Kota where over a hundred children died at a government-run hospital in a month. “Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was in Rajasthan for her private visit, but she didn’t have time to wipe tears of Kota children’s mothers,” she said.

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