Oppn to hold joint protest on 'economic slowdown', RCEP during Parliament session: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala of the Congress attended the meeting, which also saw the presence of former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI(M)'s T K Rangarajan, RJD leader Manoj Jha, DMK's T R...

ANI
Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with Rashtriya Lok Dal Chief Ajit Singh (CPI) leader D. Raja, Former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and others party during the leaders of opposition parties meeting in New Delhi on Monday.
NEW DELHI: Oppn to hold joint protest on 'economic slowdown', RCEP during Parliament session: Azad
New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) The opposition will hold a joint protest on issues such as economic slowdown, RCEP, farm distress and unemployment during the upcoming Parliament session, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday after a meeting of senior opposition leaders here.

He also said Opposition parties will meet again soon to discuss the issue of WhatsApp snooping and decide on the future course of action.


Leaders of 13 like-minded parties got together and discussed the issues confronting the country and people, and decided to meet again to take out a joint protest in the national capital.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said various partners have expressed concern over these issues confronting the country and people as all the classes of society were unhappy and it was only BJP leaders who were happy as they do not have any shortage of money.

"It has been decided that during the session we will all get together to raise all these issues at a common platform," Azad told reporters after the meeting.

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He said it was unfortunate that the rate of unemployment in India was two times the world average and "this is very disturbing as people are very worried".

"These issues are weakening the country...the concerns of people are not taken on board and it will lead to more problems for the country," he said, adding that the next generation is even more concerned as there are no jobs and the GDP continues to decline.

Asked whether the issue of snooping was also discussed, he said, "We have also discussed the issue. But, we will take separate action on this. We are taking this up separately shortly."

Sources say that opposition leaders will meet shortly on the issue and petition the President of India and seek his intervention.

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The meeting was attended by Congress leaders Azad, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala as well as RLSP chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI(M)'s T K Rangarajan, RJD's Manoj Jha, TMC's Nadeem ul Haque, DMK's T R Baalu and RLD's Ajit Singh and Sharad Yadav.

Besides, IUML's P K Kunhalikutti, Jose K Mani of Kerala Congress (M) and Shatujeet Singh of RSP were also present.

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP leader Sharad Pawar were not present at the meeting. Sources close to Pawar said he was busy in a parliamentary standing committee meeting and was expected to attend the opposition meet.

Pawar later met Sonia Gandhi in the evening and discussed with her the political situation in Maharashtra.

There was no representation from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Aadmi Party. The meeting was convened by Azad who is the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Sharad Yadav later said, "This government does not have an economic mind. It has a communal mind, making speeches that there is discord in society and people are fighting with each other."

"When Parliament starts, we all will fight it on the streets as well as inside Parliament," he said, adding that the time has come that the entire country should fight unitedly.

Baalu said as compared to the UPA, the economy is not in good shape and this must be kept in mind by various parties.

"The prime minister should not travel abroad and should look after his home and its economy, which is shrinking. Every party should take this up and tell the people about what is happening and this government should sooner or later be thrown out," he said.

Jose K Mani said all parties expressed concern over the state of the economy. "Time has come, we are going in for a collapse of the economy under the BJP," he said, adding that the economy is running on sops given by the RBI and alleged this government is eating up the reserves of the reserve bank.

RJD's Manoj Jha said all parties should sit together and raised concerns on issues before the country jointly.

"We will fight against all these issues," he said.

Kunhalikutti said this government has proved a failure in last five years and is taking the country towards a major crisis.

According to sources, discussions focussed on the joint opposition's strategy to corner the government on poor economic indicators and India's decision to consider signing the RCEP.

The leaders at the meeting were deliberating on a strategy to take on the government both inside and outside Parliament.

The Congress plans to hit the streets from Tuesday till November 15 to highlight the "failures" of the BJP government at the Centre on issues such as "economic slowdown, rising unemployment and farm crisis".

Slamming the RCEP, Sonia Gandhi said on Saturday the agreement would deal a "body blow" to the economy, resulting in "untold hardship" for farmers, shopkeepers and small enterprises.

The winter session of Parliament will be held from November 18 to December 13.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India will not join China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to satisfactorily address New Delhi's "outstanding issues and concerns". PTI SKC

SMN 11042052 NNNN


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