The Opposition meeting on July 11 will not be confined to discussing the Vice-Presidential nominee but also strive to find a common ground on various issues between non-NDA parties, sources have said.
Issues for a larger Opposition unity — such as farmer protests in various states and the role of NDA-appointed Governors and Lieutenant Governors in Opposition-ruled states and Union territories — will be discussed, a leader told The Indian Express. “The echo of the meeting will be heard in Parliament when the monsoon session begins on July 17,” the leader added.
Opposition parties had earlier discussed the farmer agitation during their meeting on the Presidential polls on June 14. There was a general consensus on organising a nationwide protest seeking comprehensive loan waiver and implementation of the M S Swaminathan Commission report.
Most parties had agreed to the idea — pushed by JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav — of organising a Bharat Bandh on June 30. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had preferred June 28, and TMC and SP representatives had said they would discuss this with their respective leadership.
However, with Nitish Kumar declaring support to NDA Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on June 21, there was a war of words between the JD(U) and other Opposition parties and the Bharat Bandh plan failed to take off. On Monday, though, Nitish called for an alternative agenda of the Opposition and rued that political events around the Presidential poll had pushed farmers’ issues to the backburner.
JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi told The Indian Express, “While JD(U) had made it clear that its support to Kovind was an isolated affair and that it will back an Opposition nominee for Vice-President, we are clear that the Opposition unity efforts must go beyond the Vice-Presidential poll.”
Another Opposition leader said there was a need to take up farmers’ issues across the nation.