Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday led a breakfast meeting of opposition leaders to discuss holding a ‘mock Parliament’ in the premises as both Houses face disruptions and protests over the Pegasus row and farmers’ agitation.
While parties such as the Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP and RJD, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was conspicuous by its absence. The AAP has always avoided opposition strategy meetings in Parliament, particularly those led by Congress. AAP was invited to this meeting in the past but chose to remain away.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh, who skipped the breakfast meeting, said, “Attending or not attending (the meet) is not important. We will support farmers and raise the issue about snooping whenever a discussion takes place in parliament.
Addressing the meeting, Gandhi said: “The single most important thing in my view is that we unite this force. The more this voice (of the people) unites, the more powerful this voice will become, the more difficult it’ll become for BJP-RSS to suppress it.”
After the meeting, the opposition leaders cycled back to Parliament.
Parliament has been in session for just 18 hours since July 19, when the monsoon session began. This compares to the 107 hours that parliament could have worked for over the previous two weeks. More than ₹ 133 crore in taxpayer money has been lost because of disruptions, government sources said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern that the Opposition would not allow the House to function as it planned its strategy. The prime minister addressed the BJP parliamentary group and asked for the government’s support to ensure that the house continues to function.
Sources said that Union Minister Rajnath Singh had called Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, on Monday afternoon to seek his support amid protests to which Kharge said the government should allow discussions in parliament.
The opposition is demanding a Supreme Court-monitored investigation of the Pegasus spying row and the allegations Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor, poll strategist Prashant, judges, activists, ministers were possible targets of Israeli spyware.
Find all the Latest News, Breaking News, and Coronavirus News here