Bharat Bandh: Congress insists Opposition is united despite absence of Left, BSP, Samajwadi Party at Delhi march

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday asserted that the Opposition was united against the Narendra Modi government, but the Left, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party skipped the Opposition's show of strength here during the Bharat Bandh.

The Left, the Samajwadi Party and BSP had endorsed the Congress-called nationwide shutdown over rising fuel prices, but skipped a march in Delhi, in which a host of Opposition leaders took part. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had earlier said it won't join the bandh, supported the protest but clarified that it should not be construed as supporting the Congress.

Bharat Bandh: Congress insists Opposition is united despite absence of Left, BSP, Samajwadi Party at Delhi march

Opposition leaders at the Bharat Bandh rally in Delhi. Image Courtesy: Congress website

The march saw the presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav among others.

The Congress refused to read much into the absence of the Left, BSP and Samajwadi Party at its show. "While 21 parties supported the Bandh, 16 representatives of different political parties and leaders sat on the dharna and walked alongside Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media. "Our friends (CPI and CPI-M) decided to have a protest at Jantar Mantar while SP and BSP communicated us they will hold protests in Uttar Pradesh."

"I don't think it should be read in any other fashion. I thank our friends in CPI, CPI-M, BSP, SP and all other 16 parties who sat on a dharna with us. This is not a fight for individual supremacy, this is not a fight for any political agenda."

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had announced on Sunday it won't join the shutdown.

Clarifying its stand on Monday, the AAP harped on the need for Opposition unity but asked the Congress to shun its "big brother and unreasonable attitude towards other parties".

"All Opposition parties must unite and force the Modi government to reverse its anti-people policies but the Congress cannot be the umbrella under which all Opposition parties are comfortable," said Bharadwaj.

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Updated Date: Sep 10, 2018 22:14:55 IST

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