Another Opposition union as Sonia Gandhi plans meet next week
After Opposition parties put up a united front in Parliament, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has reportedly planned a get-together of Opposition leaders. Several leaders such as Trinamool Congress' (TMC) Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray, and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK) MK Stalin are reported to have been invited. The meeting will reportedly be held on August 20.
Gandhi has spoken to Mamata, Thackeray, Pawar
According to multiple reports, Gandhi has spoken to the aforementioned Opposition leaders for a meeting on August 20. NDTV reported that the meeting will be held virtually and that Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (who is from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) has also been invited. Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said all key Opposition leaders and CMs of non-BJP-ruled states have been invited.
Unity among Opposition parties strong: Sanjay Raut
Hindustan Times quoted Raut as saying, "Unity among the Opposition (parties) is strong. All parties met at (Congress leader) Kapil Sibal's home recently. Sonia Gandhi ji has convened a meeting of all prominent opposition leaders including Chief Ministers."
Gandhi steps up stand against ruling party
Gandhi, who had not been very active in Parliament, was seen attending Parliamentary proceedings on Tuesday and Wednesday. She had also attended a meeting hosted by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were present. The upcoming meeting is being viewed as an attempt to keep the Opposition unity intact that was forged in Parliament.
Opposition protests against abrupt end to Parliament's Monsoon Session
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi along with other Opposition parties staged a protest outside Parliament on Thursday against an abrupt end to the Monsoon Session. The Opposition leveled grave allegations against the government, claiming that outsiders thrashed Opposition MPs, including women, inside Parliament on Wednesday. The Opposition slammed the government for its "authoritarian attitude" and the "stifling of their (Opposition's) voices in Parliament."
Parliament session curtailed by two days
The Parliament's Monsoon Session met an abrupt end on Wednesday after it was curtailed by two days. It was supposed to end on Friday. This session was also marred by repeated disruptions due to continuous protests by the Opposition, primarily over the Pegasus surveillance scandal.
Gandhis did not attend recent Opposition meeting at Sibal's house
On Monday, Congress leader Kapil Sibal hosted a dinner meeting, inviting leaders of major Opposition and non-BJP parties at his residence. The dinner meeting was attended by all major Opposition leaders, including Congress' dissenting leaders, dubbed the "G-23," who had infamously raised concerns over the party's failing leadership to Gandhi last year. However, the Gandhis were not present at the dinner party.
Rahul Gandhi hosted breakfast meeting last week
Last week, Rahul Gandhi had also hosted a breakfast meeting with leaders of over 14 Opposition parties at New Delhi's Constitution Club. After the meeting, he and other Opposition leaders took a bicycle ride to Parliament to register their protest over rising fuel prices. Earlier, Gandhi had ridden a tractor to Parliament to protest against the three contentious agricultural laws.