In a rare show of Opposition solidarity on the Pegasus spyware issue and price rise, leaders of 15 like-minded parties attended a breakfast meeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hosted on Tuesday as Parliament washout entered its 12th day.
Aam Aadmi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party skipped the event which, apart from Congress MPs, was attended by leaders of the TMC, NCP, Shiv Sena, DMK, CPM, CPI, RJD, Samajwadi Party, JMM, JK National Conference, IUML, RSP, Kerala Congress Mani, Loktantrik Janata Dal and RSP. After the meeting, Gandhi led a cycle rally of leaders to Parliament in symbolic protest against the rising fuel prices. Breaking bread with TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee, Mahua Moitra, Saugata Roy; NCP’s Praful Patel and Supriya Sule, DMK’s Kanimozhi, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and Priyanka Chaturvedi, SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, RJD’s Manoj Jha and other Opposition veterans, Gandhi said the single motive behind the breakfast invitation was forging of Opposition unity on areas of concern to the people.
“The more our voices unite, more powerful we will be and more difficult it will become for the BJP and the RSS to suppress our voice,” Gandhi said.
The former Congress chief said by trying to silence the Opposition, the government was trying to silence the voice of 60% of the country.
The government’s outreach to the Opposition failed yet again, as did Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s engagement with Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who said the debate on Pegasus must be granted in the presence of Amit Shah.“It is actually a historic day, a trailer for 2024,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. The TMC downplayed the assembly saying it was part of routine strategising.