Trinamool likely to skip Opposition meet convened by Congress on November 29

Relations between the TMC and the Congress have nosedived in recent times. File Image. | Photo Credit: PTI
Special Correspondent New Delhi 28 November 2021 11:45 IST
Updated: 28 November 2021 20:09 IST

Cracks in Opposition unity visible as Sharad Pawar too expresses inability to attend

Ahead of the winter session of Parliament that gets under way on November 29, cracks in the Opposition are already visible as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is likely to skip the floor coordination meeting on Monday, convened by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar too called Mr. Kharge to inform him of his inability because of a wedding in Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s family.

Mr. Kharge, however, played down the divisions within the Opposition ranks. He said the Trinamool leaders would be busy with the party’s working committee meet on Monday.


“We will try to take everyone along and remain united on issues affecting the people,” Mr. Kharge told reporters on Sunday.

The Congress had managed to persuade around 15 Opposition parties on November 26 to skip the Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament to “protest against the undermining of the Constitution under the Narendra Modi Government”.

The TMC was part of the joint Opposition action but such unity may not be seen during the session.

Asked to comment about the reports, TMC’s leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien didn’t specifically respond to his party giving it a miss.

“Yes there will be Opposition unity. It’s common issues that will bring about total unity in the Opposition,” he told The Hindu.

“I also must point out that there is a distinction between the RJD, DMK, RJD and the CPI(M) — they are all electoral allies of the Congress. The NCP-Shiv Sena and JMM run a Government with the Congress. The Congress is not our electoral ally nor are we running a Government with them. That’s the difference,” he said.

Relations between the TMC and the Congress have nosedived in recent times after the TMC’s ambitious expansion plans in States like Goa and the induction of 12 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya to become the principal Opposition party in the northeastern State.

The Trinamool’s new-found aggression against the Congress is not only driven by election strategist Prashant Kishor to project West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a prime ministerial candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls but also a fall out of the Congress choosing to ally with the Left Front in Bengal in the crucial Assembly elections earlier this year.

Opinion within the Congress too was divided on reaching out to the TMC but the party’s parliamentary strategy group, headed by Sonia Gandhi, decided to reach out.

“...Indian National Congress is the principal Opposition party, the central pillar of the Opposition in this country. We have long experience, both in governance and now for the last 7 years or more in the Opposition,” Deputy Leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma had told reporters at a press briefing on Friday.