Opposition meet on CAA: Sonia Gandhi termed the citizenship law a "discriminatory and divisive" law.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati have decided to skip the meeting of opposition parties organised to discuss the current political situation in the backdrop of the student protests and the contentious citizenship law CAA and the citizenship list NRC. The meeting is expected to signal opposition unity.
Mamata Banerjee is upset by the clashes between the workers of the Left and her Trinamool Congress during last week's trade union strike.
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The scattered opposition protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the citizenship law has been superseded by the consolidated student protests on the issue since the police crackdown on the students of Delhi's prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia last month.
Here are the highlights on Opposition Meeting over CAA:
CAA Protests: Opposition Parties Discuss Anti-Citizenship Law Protests
A meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday deliberated on the current political situation following widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the violence on campuses.
Significantly, the BSP, the AAP and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC stayed away from the meeting attended by representatives of 20 parties in all, reported news agency PTI.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, JMM leader and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, LJD chief Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leader Upendra Kushwaha, RJD leader Manoj Jha, National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi, besides Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and former prime minister Manmohan Singh were among those present.
Sources said top opposition leaders have already held discussions among themselves and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad is leading the efforts.
The sources said the Congress and other parties are seeking to take the students' movement forward and have lent support to their cause.
Last week, Sonia Gandhi had termed the CAA as a "discriminatory and divisive" law whose "sinister" purpose was to divide people on religious lines, and asserted that the NPR (National Population Register) in form and content was "disguised NRC (National Register of Citizens)".
The joint opposition move also assumes significance as it comes soon after Delhi Assembly election dates have been announced.
Elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11.
The last time a majority of opposition leaders got together was at the swearing-in of Hemant Soren as Jharkhand chief minister.
Congress-led Opposition meeting begins
Congress-led opposition meeting to discuss the current political situation in the country underway at Parliament Annexe.
Opposition parties not attending the meeting include the Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party.
Leaders of 20 political parties are participating in the meeting.
Sonia, Rahul Gandhi arrive to attend Opposition meeting
Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ajit Singh have also reached the venue to attend the Opposition meeting over the citizenship bill.
IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty, C Thomas from Kerala Congress and AIUDF leader Sirajuddin Ajmal also present.
No information about Opposition meet: AAP
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh, on party's decision to not attend today's Opposition meeting called by the Congress, tells news agency ANI: "We have no information about any such meeting. So,makes no sense to attend a meeting we have no information about."
Aam Aadmi Party may skip meeting: Report
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also decided not to attend today's opposition meeting called by Congress to discuss the current political situation in the country, reports news agency ANI.
BSP will not attend meeting: Mayawati
Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati has decided to skip the meeting of opposition parties over the citizenship law.
Mayawati, furious with the Congress after all six MLAs of her party in Rajasthan joined the ruling Congress last September, cited the episode as her reason for not attending the opposition meet.
"In such a situation, the BSP's attendance in the opposition meeting led by the Congress, will demoralise the party workers in Rajasthan. Hence, the BSP will not attend this meeting," Mayawati tweeted in Hindi this morning.
Mayawati had also attacked the Congress's Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in recent 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".