TMC, AAP stay away from Opposition meeting to decide the floor strategy

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Wednesday skipped a meeting of Opposition parties called by the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, to decide the floor strategy in the House in the wake of the suspension of a large number of MPs – 19 of the Rajya Sabha and four from the Lok Sabha.

The MPs of the Trinamool Congress did not join a protest held by Congress and some of the Opposition parties at the Gandhi statue in Parliament House. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the TMC MPs held a separate protest, signalling division in the opposition camp and indicating that the parties are not being able to draw up a common strategy.

The meeting called by Kharge was attended by leaders of the DMK, RJD, NCP, CPM, CPI, Shiv Sena, RLD, MDMK, IUML, RSP, and the National Conference.

Talking to The Indian Express Tuesday, Kharge had said he had invited the leaders of the Trinamool Congress and the AAP to the meeting.

“Our duty is to give a call to everyone. Let us see who will come and who will not. If they have got a different agenda..that is a different thing. My duty is to try to ensure that we all go together and fight unitedly. Numbers do not count…how you are raising the issues of people….and how they are acting against the opposition parties…that is important,” he had said.

Derek O’Brien, the leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, tweeted “the government wanted Opposition parties in RS to ‘express regret’ on behalf of all the 19 MPs suspended. We told the Govt. : GOVT SHOULD EXPRESS REGRET for not taking up discussion in #Parliament #PriceRise No question of Oppn expressing regret for standing up for people issues.”

As many as 19 Opposition MPs were suspended for a week from the Rajya Sabha Tuesday for disrupting the proceedings in the House as they pressed for an urgent discussion on price rise and the hike in GST rates.

On Monday, four Congress MPs were suspended from the Lok Sabha for the remainder of the current session for alleged misconduct.

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