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A disjointed discourse

A disjointed discourse
Highlights

A division in the ranks of the Opposition did not deter Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee from going ahead to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday. 

A division in the ranks of the Opposition did not deter Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee from going ahead to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday.

It was supposed to be a 'United Opposition' onslaught against the government over the demonetisation's impact on the nation.

However, the absence of leaders of the Left, Janata Dal (U), Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party at the protest press conference did come as a dampener to the Congress top brass.

This is Rahul's era in the party and he is struggling to prove his credentials against a well-entrenched BJP and its quite formidable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Another irritant for the party came when Mamata Banerjee hijacked the show with her vitriol against the PM, in comparison to which, Rahul Gandhi's speech, a rehash of the earlier ones given in support of his "earth shaking'" claims simply fizzled out.

If Rahul Gandhi is to be heard, he should stop parroting other's charges. Corruption charges aired by the Congress leadership are always taken with a pinch of salt in the country.

There were representatives from eight parties, not fifteen as has been planned, with several bigger ones excusing themselves on different grounds.

The story thus took a turnabout and looked as if it was Mamata that roped in the Congress and not vice versa. After the eight-party meeting, the leaders also sought a probe into the issue of “personal corruption” of Modi with Gandhi insisting that a “free and fair” inquiry was needed to maintain the credibility of the Prime Minister’s post forgetting all the scams under UPA-II.

Banerjee, whose presence was a solace to the Congress as she was the only one who rescued its ‘plan of re-enacting the scene of the Parliament on the note ban issue,’ easily stole the show by placing the resignation demand, a position subsequently echoed by Gandhi.

Both Gandhi and Banerjee spoke of a “common minimum agenda” being evolved to take the opposition unity forward even as Rahul downplayed the absence of several other parties, including the Left.

Escalating the attack on Modi, Gandhi described the note ban as a “single arbitrary financial experiment in the history of the world that affected 1.3 billion people” and asked him to explain the “real” reason for implementing it and take responsibility for giving pain to people.

He also raised the demand that Modi answer the charges of “personal corruption” made against him in the wake of his name allegedly figuring in the “Sahara and Birla diaries.” “Will you take responsibility over demonetisation and resign? Will you resign from Prime Ministership?”

Banerjee asked, as she termed demonetisation a “mega scam” in the name of “achhe din.” Ironically when Rahul was demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister as his name figured in corporate diaries, the disgraced Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Ramamohan Rao, was thanking both Rahul and Mamata for their support to him.

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