No apology, we're not Savarkar, says Viswam; united Opposition vows to fight inside Parliament

“Neither complete boycott nor apology” is the mantra which the Opposition is relying on to fight the “authoritarian” Modi govt following controversial suspension of 12 Opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha

Representative photo
Representative photo


“Neither complete boycott nor apology” is the mantra which the Opposition is relying on to fight the “authoritarian” Modi government following the controversial suspension of 12 Opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha.

12 MPs belonging to the five opposition parties have been suspended for the entire Winter Session by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for unruly behavior during the Monsson Session.

Sources privy to the developments taking place inside Parliament told National Herald that the strategy of the Opposition is to fight the government inside the Parliament and to bring all like-minded parties to the fold.

The first hint that the Opposition will neither apologise nor boycott the Session was dropped by the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi when he tweeted: “Apology for what?” after meeting various opposition leaders at the office of Mallikarjun Kharge in Parliament.

As many as 16 opposition parties participated in the meeting to decide the future course of the opposition politics.

“While the representatives of the opposition parties are learnt to have unanimously agreed to not relent and tender an apology, there were divergent views over boycotting the entire Winter Session,” said a source.

“However, a broad consensus was achieved today morning when the Opposition agreed to not hand over the space to the ruling party,” added the source.

When asked, CPI leader and Rajya Sabha member, Binoy Viswam categorically refused to tender an apology.

He slammed the Modi government for “authoritarianism” and said, “We are not Savarkar. Why should we tender apology, and for what? We are different from the Hindutva ideologue who wrote several mercy petitions to Britishers”.

Pointing out “the strategy” adopted by opposition parties, the CPI MP added, “Complete boycott was not our agenda. We will use all parliamentary avenues available to raise the people’s issues, farmers issues and issues related to bank employees in Parliament.”

Echoing his views, Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP, Shaktisinh Gohil said that strategy will be decided on day-to-day basis.

“Opposition parties will meet every day at Kharge’s office in Parliament to chalk out the strategy. We will not allow the government to act at will,” said Gohil addressing media at the Congress’ headquarters in the evening.

Talking to National Herald the Congress MP Rajmani Patel who was suspended said, “Modi government should tender an apology for destroying the Constitution.”

Releasing his detailed letter that he wrote on August 11, CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP, Elamaram Kareem opined that boycotting the Session is not on the card.

“While suspended MPs will stage a protest every day in front of Gandhiji’s statue, others will attend the house and raise the issues affecting people whether it is farmers issues, inflation, rising petrol-diesel prices, compensation to those who died during the pandemic etc.,” said Kareem.

Interestingly, TMC which stayed away from the opposition meeting called by Kharge joined the chorus on Tuesday. TMC leaders protested with other Opposition parties in front of the statue of Gandhiji.

TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien told the media that all the suspended MPs will stage the Dharna. The protest will start from December 1, outside the Parliament, he stated.

He said, “From December 1, 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, the 12 Opposition MPs suspended from Rajya Sabha will sit-in dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue (in) Parliament.”

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