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Opposition set to join hands in House to take on govt before state polls

The Times of India logo The Times of India 26-11-2021 Mohua Chatterjee
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NEW DELHI: With an eye on a string of assembly elections due early next year in several states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, opposition parties are preparing to join ranks to take on the central government on a host of common issues during the winter session of Parliament starting Monday.

The opposition showed unity on Friday by boycotting the Constitution Day function in the Central Hall of Parliament, which was attended by Presidet Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.

Trinamool Congress’s recent inductions from the Congress camp had ruffled some feathers, but it appears the opposition parties don’t want to let this affect their approach to BJP as the “common challenge”.

“If Congress boycotted the Central hall function on Constitution Day, TMC decided to remain absent from it since it is a national celebration, but there was no effort by the government to involve all parties and take their suggestions… it cannot be celebrated by just one party,” said TMC chief whip in Rajya Sabha Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.

“The opposition parties are preparing to have perfect floor coordination in Parliament to take on the government, on anti-people policies and issues,” said a TMC source. Sources discounted that the episode in Meghalaya where Congress members joined TMC would have a negative fallout for opposition unity. “The message from the Congress side after the party’s meeting on Thursday was positive,” said the source.

During the repeal of the three farm laws in parliament, the opposition parties are expected to mount a high voltage attack on the government, especially since the year-long protests were led by farmers’ unions from poll-bound UP and Punjab.

Sources said other issues that the opposition plans to take up include “efforts to sell the ONGC, bank nationalisation amendment bill that is likely to come up, monetisation proposals of the Centre and Pegasus spyware controversy”.

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