Published: May 24, 2018 3:33:59 am
Opposition leaders present at the swearing-in ceremony of H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday discussed the need to organise coordinated, issue-based agitations to corner the BJP-led government at the Centre, sources said. And the immediate protest is likely to be directed against the relentless spike in prices of petrol and diesel.
Petrol price has touched Rs 85 in Mumbai, while in Delhi the fuel’s price inched higher to a new record of Rs 77.17, and in Kolkata, it cost Rs 79.83, almost a five-year high. Rising fuel prices had in the past united the opposition with several parties giving coordinated call for a nation-wide shutdown when the Congress was in power.
Sources said, the discussions — one-to-one and in smaller groups, over tea — were informal and no concrete decision had been taken yet. However, sources indicate there could be more consultations, or even a structured meeting, in the days to come to decide on a strategy.
According to sources, buoyed by the success of Congress-JD(S) alliance, which denied the BJP a shot at power in Karnataka, many of the opposition leaders have felt the need to carry forward the momentum and organise meaningful joint campaigns on mutually agreed issues against the Central government.
Several parties, like the Congress and the Left, have already decided to organise protests on May 26 — the day Narendra Modi government completes four years in office.
Earlier, the opposition had joined hands to force the BJP government to abandon a plan to make changes in the Land Acquisition Act. There was a joint campaign on the issue of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes too.
While they remained united in Parliament, the chinks in the opposition unity were revealed recently when parties like the Trinamool Congress and the DMK did not sign a petition seeking impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.