Many opposition parties to stay away from Congress presser

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) Cracks seem to have appeared in the opposition’s concerted campaign against demonetisation as several parties have pulled out of a joint press conference called by the Congress here on Tuesday over the contentious issue.

Many important partners of the anti-demonetisation campaign, such as Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Left, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Samajwadi Party (SP), on Monday refused to attend the joint press conference scheduled to be held at the Constitution Club here.

Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a press conference here on Monday: “The Congress should know that in a combined effort, prior understanding and consultations are a must.”

“Till now, there was coordination among different opposition parties’ parliamentary groups. If you have to elevate it to the party level, you must do it with prior consultation,” he added.

JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi told IANS: “We were not sounded out; we don’t know what is the agenda of the press briefing; there is no common minimum programme. So how can we participate?”

Senior NCP leader D.P. Tripathi said although the “opposition is united over the wrong implementation” of the November 8 demonetisation, his party won’t be going to the presser.

“Many parties are not coming; so we are not coming too,” Tripathi said.

The Samajwadi Party, too, was undecided on the issue.

“We have not decided… at least, I am not going. You may contact neta ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) for more details,” SP leader Naresh Agrawal told IANS.

However, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a coalition partner of JD-U in Bihar, confirmed participation.

Trinamool Congress leader Sukehndu Shekhar Roy said his party is “most likely” to participate.

Several opposition parties were left red faced after a Congress delegation led by its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16, the last day of the winter session of Parliament, without even informing them.

The entire opposition had tried to corner the government over the demonetisation issue and stalled Parliament proceedings for the entire session that began on November 16.

A few days back, the Congress reached out to several opposition parties to rally support once again over the issue. However, not all parties seem convinced with the Congress initiative this time around.

–IANS

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