New Delhi, January 13:
A meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday deliberated on the current political situation following widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the violence on campuses.
Significantly, the BSP, the AAP and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC stayed away from the meeting attended by representatives of 20 parties in all.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, JMM leader and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, LJD chief Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leader Upendra Kushwaha, RJD leader Manoj Jha, National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi, besides Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and former prime minister Manmohan Singh were among those present.
Sources said top opposition leaders have already held discussions among themselves and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad is leading the efforts.
The opposition is seeking to win over the youth and the students by supporting their protests against the amended citizenship law and any National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The sources said the Congress and other parties are seeking to take the students’ movement forward and have lent support to their cause.
Last week, Sonia Gandhi had termed the CAA as a “discriminatory and divisive” law whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines, and asserted that the NPR (National Population Register) in form and content was “disguised NRC (National Register of Citizens)”.
The joint opposition move also assumes significance as it comes soon after Delhi Assembly election dates have been announced.
Elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11.
The last time a majority of opposition leaders got together was at the swearing-in of Hemant Soren as Jharkhand chief minister.