Oppn plans joint rally over land ordinance

NEW DELHI: As the Narendra Modi-led government goes ahead with its decision to bring the controversial land ordinance through re-promulgation, the Opposition is not ruling out the possibility of holding a joint rally to corner the BJP.

editorial@tribune.com

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2

As the Narendra Modi-led government goes ahead with its decision to bring the controversial land ordinance through re-promulgation, the Opposition is not ruling out the possibility of holding a joint rally to corner the BJP.

The Congress and constituents of the soon “to be formed” Janata Parivar have indicated that they could come together to address farmers on the land ordinance, which is being projected by the Opposition as anti-poor and anti-farmer.

On behalf of the Congress, an indication of a joint rally came from Jairam Ramesh, former Rural Development Minister, who drafted the UPA version of the land Bill in 2013. He yesterday said that the Congress could come together with the other Opposition parties on the land Bill which involved lives and livelihoods of farmers.

KC Tyagi, national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP of the JD-U, today said that the Janata Parivar, once merged, would conduct a farmers’ rally.The two statements – separated by a day – come at a time when the BJP’s National Executive is in progress at Bengaluru. The government’s stand on land law is under discussion of the BJP and RSS affiliates.

For the Congress, it won’t be difficult to join hands with the Opposition for holding a joint rally to challenge the ordinance after it is done with its April 19 Kisan rally in Delhi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had earlier during the Budget session led all Opposition leaders (including the TMC and the Left) to the President on the Bill.

A joint rally of anti-BJP outfits would, thus, be politically significant to send a message of opposition unity to PM Narendra Modi. It would also serve as the much-needed anti-Modi plank at a time when opposition unity seemed to have been fractured in the Rajya Sabha over the other crucial Bills such as coal, mines and minerals.

Through the earlier part of Budget session, opposition unity was limited to the land Bill. Party insiders today said in the post Lok Sabha 2014 scenario, the erstwhile UPA didn’t exist in its older form. “Now, there is no UPA formally speaking. Parties are adopting positions depending on their interests and future. However, like-minded parties need to come together on issues,” said a Congress leader.

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