Citizenship Law on Agenda at Congress-led Oppn Huddle Today; Mamata, Mayawati & AAP to Give Meet a Miss

Citizenship Law on Agenda at Congress-led Oppn Huddle Today; Mamata, Mayawati & AAP to Give Meet a Miss

EC News Desk

New Delhi, January 13, 2020: Amid the widespread protests over the contentious citizenship law and NRC, the opposition parties will meet on Monday to discuss the current political situation and chart out their strategy.

The meeting, which was expected to be a show of strength for the Opposition, however will not be attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has decided to stay away, presumably in face of Delhi elections next month where it is pitted against the BJP and the Congress.

Miffed with the Congress and the Left over violence allegedly perpetrated by them in the state during the January 8 Bharat Bandh, Banerjee had decided to skip the meeting called by the president of the grand old party, Sonia Gandhi.

The 24-hour nationwide strike by central trade unions in West Bengal on Wednesday was marked by incidents of violence and arson, blocking of railway tracks and roads by protesters trying to enforce the shutdown.

Banerjee said "double standards" of the Left Front and Congress will not be tolerated.

"I have decided to boycott the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi on January 13 in New Delhi as I don't support the violence that the Left and Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday)," the chief minister had said at the state Assembly.

Meanwhile, sources in the BSP said the party may not send a representative to the meet due to its differences with the Congress. Later, party chief Mayawati tweeted that her party was boycotting the meet as the Congress had poached her MLAs in Rajasthan. Mayawati had dissolved the party's executive in Rajasthan after its all six legislators joined the Congress.

On December 17 last year, when the opposition parties had approached President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention on the issue of violence in central universities against the amended Citizenship law, the BSP had not joined them. A parliamentary delegation of the BSP, however, had met Kovind on December 18 to discuss the issue.

While the Opposition struggles to keep its flock together, the student protests against the contentious legislation since the police crackdown on Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia last month have taken the country by storm. In campuses across the country, protests fuelled by civil society and campuses flared, with political parties too joining in.

(Source News 18)