New Delhi: The newly forged Opposition unity already seems to be in tatters. Just a month ago, on August 19, at the Opposition leaders' meeting convened by the Congress president. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, it was decided that joint Opposition protests would be held from September 20 till 30. The leaders of these parties issued an 11-point charter of demands to the Centre and in a joint statement said, “We will jointly organise protest actions all over the country from 20th to 30th September, 2021.” The Opposition parties had jointly demanded a repeal of the three new farm legislations, a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the Pegasus hacking controversy, early elections in Jammu and Kashmir and release of all political detainees there and a high-level probe into the Rafale deal.
But five days out of the 10-day period have passed and there have been no joint protests anywhere in the country. Interestingly, senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were away in Shimla for a few days.
The entire machinery of the TMC is busy in the by-elections in the state that is being contested by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is busy campaigning and shortlisting candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections that are slated early next year. The response so far from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also been lukewarm. Similar is the case in Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Similar is the case in other states where the party is in alliance.
Last month the Congress had constituted a committee to plan and organise protests under Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh. The committee also has general secretary Ms Priyanka Gandhi as a member. But as of now there are no joint protests planned by the Congress. The committee has had just one meeting in which it has decided to liaison with advocacy and pressure groups. General secretary incharge K.C. Venugopal has written to the office bearers of the party till the bloc level to organise dharna and protests against the policies of the government but the party is yet to see action on the ground.