The Hindu Business Line

Divided Opposition meets President, accuses Centre of ‘muzzling’ voices


The lack of unity among the Opposition parties was visible once again, as some of the leaders decided not to join a Congress-led delegation that met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of demonetisa­tion.

The Opposition also told the President that the Centre is trying to muzzle the voices by not allowing discussion­s inside Parliament.

While the representa­tives of the Trinamool Congress, RJD, JD(U) and AIUDF joined the Congress-led delegation, the NCP, DMK, Left parties, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party did not join.

The Congress’ decision to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi alone on farmers’ issues has apparently irked some of the Opposition members.

Congress Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi led the delegation, attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of the party in both Houses.

A memorandum submitted by the delegation to the President termed the demonetisa­tion decision as disastrous.

“We are extremely pained by this trampling of our democratic rights and the suppressio­n of our right to present our views and make our voices heard in Parliament. We are deeply concerned that our parliament­ary democratic system is under severe threat,” it said.

“The demonetisa­tion decision has brought about a disastrous situation in the nation. We beseech you, as the protector of the Constituti­on, to kindly intervene to save the people from economic disaster,” the memorandum said, and added that despite suggestion­s from them to allow a discussion under any rule, the Centre was not willing to hear their views.

While the BSP did not give any reason for its decision of not joining the delegation, SP’s Naresh Agrawal said it would have been better had the Congress taken the entire opposition together rather than meeting the Prime Minister separately on farmers’ issues.

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said his party will go to the public instead of going to the President.

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