13 opposition parties issue joint statement, say united for discussion on Pegasus, repeal of farm laws

Leaders of 15 opposition parties at the breakfast meeting hosted by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Constitution Club in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI photo

NEW DELHI: A day after leaders of 15 opposition parties got together at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi breakfast meeting, 17 members of non-NDA parties reiterated their demand for discussion in Parliament on the Pegasus spyware issue and repeal the three farm laws The 17 opposition leaders issued a joint statement on Wednesday in which they said, “The opposition parties stand firm and united on their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue in both the Houses, replied to by the home minister, as this has national security dimensions.”The statement said the opposition has also unequivocally conveyed that the discussion on the farmers’ issues and agitations arising from the three anti-farmers and black agri-laws should follow the discussion on the Pegasus snooping controversy. “It is unfortunate that the government has unleashed a misleading campaign to malign the combined opposition and blame it for the continued disruption in the Parliament,” it said.The opposition leaders said the responsibility for the deadlock lies squarely at the doorsteps of the government. They alleged that the government remained “arrogant and obdurate” and refused to accept the opposition’s demand for an informed debate in both the Houses.The statement finally said, “The opposition once again urges the government to respect parliamentary democracy and accept the discussions.” The signatories to the statement include leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, TR Balu and Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, Ramgopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Derek O’Brien and Kalyan Bannerjee (TMC), Sanjay Raut and Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena), Manoj Jha (RJD), Sushil Gupta (AAP), ET Mohd Basheer (IUML), Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference), Elamaram Kareem, CPI(M) and Binoy Viswam (CPI). In the breakfast meeting hosted by Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, the opposition leaders had jointly decided to keep demanding discussion in Parliament on the Pegasus snooping issue, repeal of the three agri-marketing laws and inflation. The 100-odd MPs had then rode to Parliament on bicycles. The opposition has decided to keep up the heat on the government by disrupting the Parliament proceedings and forcing adjournments of both the houses. Both the houses of Parliament are being adjourned repeatedly everyday since the monsoon session was convened on July 19.

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