Pegasus | No attempt by government to reach out to Opposition, say leaders

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. File   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Opposition parties on Friday denied that the government has made any attempt to reach out to them. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the Opposition has already laid down its demands and it was up to the government now to show willingness to run the House.

Government sources on Thursday had said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh may hold talks with senior opposition leaders on Friday, subject to the timing of his return from Tajikistan. But so far, the opposition parties said, nothing had come of the proposal.

When asked if Mr. Singh had reached out to him and offered any peace deal, Mr Kharge told The Hindu, “Nothing. Mr. Singh himself telephoned me earlier. I told him as soon as you come, if you request all the floor leaders, we will come there.”

But there was no response to this, Mr. Kharge said.

He added that he had had a meeting with Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi. “They came to my chamber to say that the House should run. Then I said the simple way is to agree for a discussion on Pegasus.”

Priority to Pegasus

Mr Kharge said, at a meeting of Opposition leaders from both Houses, it was agreed that a discussion on Pegasus cyber attack takes precedence over everything else.

“Yes, we know that fuel price hikes is an issue, corruption in Rafale is an issue and there are many other issues, but all parties agree that since we have raised the Pegasus matter, it needs to be first debated. The Opposition stands united on this,” he said.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav also said there have been no efforts from the government of any sort to consult the Opposition to break the ongoing impasse. DMK’s floor leader in Rajya Sabha Tiruchi Siva said the log jam will continue till there is a difference in what the Opposition is asking for and what the government wants to concede.

“They are only offering a clarification from the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. But our demand is that there should be a debate and following which the Home Minister should reply. We are not asking anything unusual, the Parliament is a forum for debate,” Mr Siva added.

CPI (M) leader Elamaram Kareem said that so far the government is only reaching out to individual parties while this is a collective issue. “No formal meeting has been convened by the government. That is our request to the government to convene a meeting of all parties to seek a way out,” he said. Mr. Kareem said the opposition parties will meet again on Monday to decide the further course of action.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 3:24:15 AM |

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