Top leaders of opposition parties, including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, DMK’s T R Baalu and National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, gathered at the residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss a strategy to question the government in the ongoing Parliament session.
The meeting comes at a time when the government and the opposition are locked a battle over the status of 12 Rajya Sabha members who have been suspended over their “unruly” behaviour in the House during the previous session. While the government has said the members should apologise, opposition parties have claimed that the ruling establishment has been shunning debate.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK MP TR Baalu, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge were present at the meeting, according to reports. Sonia Gandhi had invited Uddhav Thackeray and DMK chief MK Stalin. Both deputed their leaders–Raut and Baalu– respectively, PTI said. The Trinamool Congress was not invited to the meeting.
Protest march: Earlier in the day, opposition MPs in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha held a protest march from the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex to Vijay Chowk with Rahul Gandhi alleging that the Opposition is not being allowed to raise issues in Parliament, which is now merely a building and a museum.