Aiming parallel front, TMC to skip Congress-led opposition meet ahead of Parliament session


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  By announcing to skip the Opposition meeting ahead of the Parliament’s winter session on Monday, the Trinamool Congress party is looking to forge a parallel non-Congress opposition alliance in both Houses to take on the BJP-led Centre. 

The TMC, which is the third biggest party in Rajya Sabha with 13 MPs and shares fourth place with YSRCP with 22 MPs in Lok Sabha, has made it clear that it would no more tread on the floor strategy of Congress. 

Sources said the TMC leadership has asked the party floor leaders — Derek O’Brien in Rajya Sabha and Sudip Bandopadhyay in Lok Sabha — to look for coordinating with parties that are not in alliance with the Congress but are ready to take on the Modi government. 

“The TMC is ready to work with all the opposition and regional parties unlike the Congress that has issues aligning with Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP or Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP for that sake. We will reach out to all the like-minded parties whether it is Samajwadi Party or BJD for a stronger opposition front. Nobody is untouchable for us,” said a TMC MP. 

The party feels that unlike other opposition parties such as Shiv Sena, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, DMK, Left parties, NCP and RJD that have alliance with Congress in state governments or have contested elections together, the TMC has no such boundation. 

“Yes, there will be Opposition unity in Parliament. It is the common issues that will unite the opposition. I also must point out that there is a distinction between the RJD, DMK, RJD and the CPI(M) — they are all electoral allies of the Congress. The NCP-Shiv Sena and JMM run a government with the Congress. The Congress is not our electoral ally nor are we running a government with them. That’s the difference,” said O’Brien.

The monsoon session of Parlaiment had seen camaraderie among the 14 opposition parties when they put up a joint front on common issues.  “These are individual decisions of parties based on their strategy and goals. Congress is the principle opposition party in the country and will take all parties together in our fight against the anti-people policies of this government,” said a senior Congress leader.

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