Leaders from various opposition parties voiced the need for a common minimum programme (CMP) to bring the Opposition together. They were speaking on the last day of the week-long Janta Parliament, organised by Jan Sarokar, a collective of civil rights organisations.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury suggested that a CMP-like draft should be prepared, based on which unity should be forged between parties and people’s movements, the collective said in a statement.
He condemned the “intense attack on rights” and asserted that any attempt to impose uniformity in the country will “dilute the idea of India”.
K Raju of the Congress agreed with Yechury and said that a CMP “must be made in order to bring the Opposition together”. The collective’s statement quoted him pointing out that the UPA government had pushed for rights-based legislation such as National Food Security Act, RTI and MGNREGA.
Nikhil Dey, one of the coordinators of the collective, said: “It is a significant development that both the Left and Congress said there is a need for a common minimum programme. With this Janta Parliament, the question also arises: if so many of us could do it, why couldn’t actual Parliament be held? We will now work with parties which participated (in the event) to make sure the resolutions passed find space in Parliament discussions.”
RJD leader Manoj Jha said that a strategy should be made to create a convergence between Parliament and the people’s Parliament, and that “a common agenda would be useful for his party in the upcoming elections in Bihar”.
CPI national secretary D Raja said, “Parliament has been bypassed by the present government…. The need of the times is for parties and social movements to work together inside and outside Parliament.”
Sanjay Singh of Aam Aadmi Party said, “The Central government is looking to convert the pandemic into an opportunity to disinvest from national assets.”