The Congress has called for a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday to discuss the current political situation of India in the backdrop of the student protests against the contentious citizenship law, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register. The meeting, expected to signal Opposition unity, will however not be attended by Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati, Aam Aadmi Party and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The meeting is to be chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
BSP president Mayawati on Monday said her party will not attend the Congress-led opposition meeting to discuss a strategy on protests over the CAA and NRC, saying it will "demoralise" her party workers. In a series of tweets, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said her party is against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) but attending the meeting will demoralise BSP workers in Rajasthan, where the Congress has caused defections in her party.
"As is well known that despite the BSP support to the Congress-led Rajasthan government from outside, it has been for the second time that BSP MLAs have been made to join their party which is completely wrong," Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Under such circumstances, the BSP attending the opposition meeting today under the leadership of the Congress will be demoralising for party workers in Rajasthan. Therefore, the BSP will not attend this meeting," she said.
However, she made it clear that the BSP is against the CAA and NRC. "As it is, the BSP is against CAA/ NRC etc. It is an appeal to the central government again that it should withdraw this divisive and unconstitutional law. Also, It is very unfortunate to politicize students in JNU and other educational institutions" she added.
3. वैसे भी बीएसपी CAA/NRC आदि के विरोध में है। केन्द्र सरकार से पुनः अपील है कि वह इस विभाजनकारी व असंवैधानिक कानून को वापिस ले। साथ ही, JNU व अन्य शिक्षण संस्थानों में भी छात्रों का राजनीतिकरण करना यह अति-दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण। 3/3
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) January 13, 2020
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also likely to skip the meeting of Opposition parties called by the Congress to discuss the situation arising out of violence on various university campuses and protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act, sources told PTI. The AAP is not attending the meeting in view of the upcoming Assembly polls in Delhi, they said.
Meanwhile, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh told ANI that his party will not attend the Opposition meeting as they were not informed about it. "We have no information about any such meeting. So, makes no sense to attend a meeting we have no information about it," Singh told ANI when asked if AAP will attend today's Opposition meeting.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee last week had said she will boycott the Opposition's anti-CAA meeting 13 January to protest the violence unleashed in the state allegedly by Left Front and Congress workers during a trade union strike.
Mamata said "double standards" of the Left Front and Congress will not be tolerated.
"I have decided to boycott the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi on 13 January in New Delhi as I don't support the violence that the Left and Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday)," the chief minister said at the state Assembly.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2020 12:36:41 IST