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Rahul Gandhi reaches Parliament on a bicycle to protest against rising fuel prices

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi rides a bicycle in a symbolic protest over rising fuel price after a breakfast meeting with the Opposition leaders on August 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday gave a call to Opposition leaders to “unite the majority voice of the people of India” that is represented by their parties.

Accompanied by his party colleagues and Opposition leaders, Mr. Gandhi rode a bicycle to Parliament to protest against the rise in the prices of fuel and cooking gas.

Just before the cycle protest, he hosted a breakfast meet for leaders of 15 Opposition parties at the Constitution Club, close to Parliament.

“We [the Opposition parties] represent 60 per cent of the people, the majority of the people. When the government shuts us up, they are not humiliating us as members of Parliament but the majority voice of the people of India. The single most important thing in my view is: let’s unite this voice,” he told all the Opposition MPs.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi drives tractor to Parliament to protest farm law

 

“The more this voice unites, the more powerful it will become, more difficult it will become for the BJP and RSS to suppress this voice,” he asserted. The principles for the foundation of such unity should be worked out now, he added.

A trailer for 2024: Singhvi

Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Singhvi called the meet “historic” and claimed that it was “a trailer for 2024 [Lok Sabha polls]”.

He said, “This shows you the new resolve, new direction, new momentum and a new determination and grit.... We will proceed unitedly without fear and deterrence. Be it Pegasus, the terrible price rise, the farmers’ issue or any number of governance issues”.

He, however, played down a question on who would be the face of the “united Opposition” by terming it “irrelevant” at this point in time.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Kanimozhi, Nationalist Congress Party’s Supriya Sule and Praful Patel, Trinamool Congress’s Saugato Roy, Kalyan Banerjee and Mahua Moitra, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and Priyanka Chaturvedi, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha were among those present.

The Bahujan Samaj Party was a notable absentee.

A subtle message?

The Congress is clearly sending a subtle message that it continues to occupy the pole position when it comes to taking on the Narendra Modi government.

Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter, “Neither our faces are important nor our names. What is essential is that we are the people’s representatives. Behind every face lies crores of faces who are troubled by price rise and inflation. Are these the acche din’ [good days]”.

After the monsoon session of Parliament got under way on July 19, the Congress has once again strongly raised the issue of repeated hikes in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

In its third week now, Parliament has failed to function properly, as the Opposition has been insisting on discussing the Pegasus issue and the three farm laws before every other issue.

Mr. Gandhi’s is one among the select few Indian numbers that were identified as a possible suspect for hacking, by an international consortium of investigative journalists. It broke the story about the alleged use of Pegasus spyware for snooping on politicians, journalists, activists and even constitutional authorities like judges.


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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 5:05:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-gandhi-reaches-parliament-on-a-bicycle-to-protest-against-rising-fuel-prices/article35696039.ece

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