Opposition walks out after Rahul Gandhi’s speech, TMC stays back; opaque understanding between BJP & TMC?
TMC was also absent from the morning meeting of the opposition parties held at the office of the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge to chalk out strategy, sources said
While opposition parties such as DMK, Shiv Sena, NCP, RJD walked out after Rahul Gandhi made a Zero Hour mention and submitted a list of 700 farmers in Lok Sabha who died during the protest, members of Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress (TMC) stayed back.
Leaders of the opposition were seen quipping ‘ye rishta kya kahlata hai’ pointing out towards an ‘opaque understanding’ between BJP and TMC, said a source present inside Parliament.
Notably, TMC was also absent from the morning meeting of the opposition parties held at the office of the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge to chalk out strategy, added the source.
It was decided in this meeting that the Opposition will boycott Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “Opposition and like-minded parties will boycott the Rajya Sabha tomorrow over the suspension of 12 MPs”.
It was not the first time when TMC ‘gave a jolt to the Opposition unity’ in Parliament. In spite of the fact that two MPs of the West Bengal-based party were also suspended from Rajya Sabha, it stayed away from the meeting of the opposition parties on the first day of the Winter Session.
Also, the TMC MPs staged a separate dharna in front of Gandhi statue and tried to forge an alliance of the opposition parties minus Congress in the Parliament.
TMC staying away from the Congress-led Opposition is being seen as an effort by Mamata Banerjee to create the Third Front, keeping 2024 Lok Sabha polls in mind.
Observers believe Mamata’s party is trying hard to expand beyond the boundaries of West Bengal.
“TMC fighting Goa assembly elections is nothing but an attempt to weaken Congress in the state where poll-fight has been bipolar for decades,” commented a Congress leader.
Besides, Mamata Banerjee meeting with Gautam Adani, who is considered close to prime minister Modi and political strategist Prashant Kishor, were perceived as attempts to undermine Congress.
It is worth mentioning here that Kishor worked closely with Modi in the past when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2013.
Congress supporters believe that, “TMC is trying to weaken the Congress at the behest of the ruling party”.
“There seem to be a tacit understanding between the BJP and the TMC inside Parliament…No matter how loud Mamata attacks Modi, both will get electoral benefit, if Congress is weakened,” said an observer.
In spite of TMC’s flip-flop attitude, Rahul Gandhi made no distinction when he met the suspended MPs in Parliament, said the source.
These 12 MPs from the opposition benches were suspended from Rajya Sabha for the entire winter session for the 'unruly behavior' during the Monsoon Session.
Demanding revocation of the suspension, the Opposition stepped up attack on the government and said that the “government is responsible for the deadlock in the Rajya Sabha”.
“The government is fully responsible for the deadlock in Rajya Sabha. We have been meeting the chairman and the government and have stressed that they cannot suspend members like this. They have wrongly and undemocratically suspended 12 MPs for what has happened during the previous Monsoon session,” Kharge said while addressing media outside Parliament.