As opposition parties and BJP hold parallel meetings, panelists say that election strategies will be the top agenda for discussion
A day before Parliament’s winter session opens, opposition parties will meet today to work out a joint strategy to take on the BJP in Lok Sabha polls.Earlier, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya mocked the opposition parties meeting, and said they should first declare a prime ministerial candidate before thinking of ousting the Modi government. BJP also has scheduled a parliamentary board meeting. APN’s popular debate Muddadiscussed the issue of parallel meetings. Anchorperson Anant posed the questions to panelists including Congress’s Saif Khan, BJP’s Vijay Khera, SP’s Ratan Sen Singh, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.
Khan said: “We are meeting like-minded parties. Every time Congress has tied up with like-minded parties, it has been for the good of the country.”
Anant asked what’s the agenda of the opposition meeting? Will there be a name put up as a prime ministerial candidate? To this, Khan said: ”The agenda is development. Election strategy will be discussed. Five assembly poll results are in the offing, and we shall discuss the outcome of these polls.”
Anand asked Khera on the BJP Parliamentary board meeting. Khera said: “BJP parliamentary board meeting is routine. Since assembly polls have just been held, we shall discuss that as well. “
Anand asked him about BJP ally Upendra Khushwaha, who has quit as minister. Khera said: ”Khushwaha’s exit makes no difference to the BJP.”
Singh said: “BJP government itself is a mahagathbandhan sarkar, we have to decide how to free the country of BJP and its agenda. Naidu quit BJP government, now Khushwaha has left the government. Leaders are snapping ties with the BJP. Narendra Modi better watch out. People will decide who should be their leader.”
To this Anant said people want to know the leader of the opposition grand alliance.
Raju said: ” The current trend is that centre and states think differently regarding the ruling party. “
Khan said: “There are a lot of muddas for the opposition meeting, like rising gas and diesel prices, excise duty, service tax, increase in platform ticket prices, etc. On the global hunger index, we are going down, on women’s security we are down, on terrorism index we are doing poorly, and on unemployment too we are down. All these issues will be discussed in today’s meeting.”
Anant asked Khera what the BJP plans to do with these issues. Khera said: “Since Manmohan Singh’s time gas and diesel prices have been going up. Excise has gone up, but don’t you see that the poor have benefitted from the rising taxes, with schemes in their favour.”
Singh said: “Modi government itself is fraud. People had huge expectations from the Modi government. Sadly, it failed to live up to its promises.”
Raju said: “Unemployment is a huge issue. Population is going up. This issue will remain for a long time. No government can claim to end this problem. Bills need to be cleared, and opposition needs to decide on this, Rafale is likely to be debated again in the winter session of parliament. Opposition must be zeroing down on issues to corner the BJP.”
Khera said:” Unemployment has been rising since the last 65 years. Government has doled out loans and machinery to improve this issue, so that industry gets a boost. You can’t club employment with government jobs alone. We have to think of the larger picture.”
Khan said: “Unemployment is one of the country’s biggest issues, and the BJP has to show results in this sphere.”
Anant then steered the debate and asked if all parties can unite on important issues, like that of farmer woes.
Khera replied:”The opposition will not discuss farmer issues because they know that they can’t answer the mess done by them on this issue.”
Raju said: “Farmers have fighting their war, they have done agitations and protests. BJP is looking at things from its own perspective. Farmer woes have been politicised. “
Compiled by- Niti Singh Bhandari