Opposition parties to meet on Monday to discuss current political situation and contentious citizenship law

New Delhi: The opposition parties would meet on Monday afternoon to discuss the current political situation in the backdrop of the student protests and the contentious citizenship law and the citizenship list NRC. The meeting, expected to signal opposition unity, however, will not be attended by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati, sources said.
Mamata Banerjee, peeved by the clashes between the workers of the Left and her Trinamool Congress during last week’s trade union strike, has declared that she would not attend the opposition meeting. Underscoring that it was she who mooted the idea of the meet” she said, “What happened yesterday in the state — it is no more possible for me to attend the meeting anymore”.
“I was the first to launch an andolan (movement) against CAA, NRC,” she said. “What the Left and the Congress are doing in the name of the CAA-NRC is not a movement but vandalism”.
Mayawati, too, had attacked the Congress’s Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra recently days over the baby deaths at a hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota. She said if the “woman general secretary of the Congress” would not visit Kota to meet the mothers who lost their children, then her meetings with families of victims in Uttar Pradesh will be considered for “political interest and drama”.
On Saturday, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi termed the citizenship law a “discriminatory and divisive” law whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines. “The CAA is a discriminatory and divisive law. The sinister purpose of the law is clear to every patriotic, tolerant and secular Indian: it is to divide the Indian people on religious lines,” she said at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee or CWC – the top decision-making body of the party – in Delhi. The party demanded immediate withdrawal of the CAA and stopping the process of the NPR.
The scattered opposition protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the citizenship law has been superseded by the consolidated student protests on the issue since the police crackdown on the students of Delhi’s prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia last month. Protests flared in campuses across the country and the civil society and political parties had joined in.
The BJP has repeatedly accused the Congress of engineering the violence that took place during some of the protests.
Several Chief Ministers , including Mamata Banerjee, and those in the Congress-ruled states, have said they would not allow the CAA or the NRC in their states.