Rahul Gandhi dubs demonetisation as 'root cause of poverty' in India

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2017

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said more development works would be undertaken if the party retains power in the 2018 Assembly elections. 16 out of 18 parties, which were invited, attended the meeting.

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is slated to attend the meeting. Yechury said only by raising issues such as agrarian distress and unemployment, such an alternative narrative can be built.

"The special status was conferred on the region following a long struggle waged by social activists, politicians, and pro-Kannada and farmers organisations and not just due to the efforts of Congress party".

"We are not the B-team of the Congress". Before this 17 opposition parties had united to decide a consensus candidate for the Presidential polls and then 19 parties united to decide the candidate for the Vice-Presidential elections.

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When asked about the absence of NCP at the meeting, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters he had personally spoken to Pawar, who in turn informed him that he was unwell and was therefore skipping the meeting. The meeting would deliberate on these matters, he said.

"A small coordination committee will be formed of opposition leaders to decide the future programmes", he said.

The opposition parties had come together to put up an "ideological fight" against the Modi government in the presidential and vice-presidential election, but the fledgling issue-based unity suffered a setback after JD-U President and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chose to dump RJD and Congress and join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Speaking about Yadav and his disagreements over Kumar's decision to join the NDA, Kumar, who was in New Delhi on Friday, said that the decision was a joint one taken by his party and Yadav was free to hold any opinion he wanted to. The special status to the region was granted under Article 371J of the Constitution when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister. "Now tell me how many jobs has Siddaramaiah given in Karnataka?-30,000".

After the repeated defeats at the hands of the BJP in a series of elections and the party's aggressive push to establish footprints in non-BJP ruled states through other means, the Opposition leaders are working around the "unite or perish" principle.

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