The Congress is once again parading leaders of 16 political parties on Tuesday, in order to once again show a united opposition face against the demonetization.
Facing flak that on the last day of the winter session of Parliament, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had dented the 20-day Opposition unity, by going alone to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the current move is aimed at to revive unity.
The exact contours of the joint campaign will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday after the meeting of all leaders. The Opposition unity had gone for a toss on December 16 after the main Opposition parties the Left, the DMK and the AIADMK, the SP and the BSP took exception to Rahul’s decision to go alone to meet Modi and also to fix an appointment with the President Pranab Mukherjee on this own name, instead of the united Opposition.
The Congress sources said that after this gaffe Sonia Gandhi had intervened and contacted all the leaders personally. She also preferred not to hold the meeting with these leaders at the Congress headquarters as some parties may have reservations nor does she want to project the Congress leading the new campaign.
Those who have already consented to attend the meeting include West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banarjee, who announced in Kolkata that she would be in the national capital for the launch of the new campaign against Modi’s ulterior motives behind the demonetization.
On Tuesday, she will be addressing a joint press conference with not only Sonia Gandhi and Rahul but also the Left party and leaders of other political parties.
Ahead of the joint drive, Rahul has convened a meeting of the party leaders in the Congress war room at Rakabganj Road here on Monday to brainstorm on the kind of actions that the party should propose in the meeting with all Opposition leaders.
While the Congress would suggest that workers of all Opposition parties jointly take the agitation against the note ban to every corner of the country, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party may not agree for any such joint action in Uttar Pradesh in view of the impending assembly elections in the state expected to be announced next week. It is believed that parties will adopt a different strategy in five states, including UP, Punjab and Goa, going to the polls by incorporating the anti-demonetization drive in their respective poll campaigns.
Also discarding the age-old policy of no personal attacks or character assassination in the political discourse which was strictly being adhered by Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice-President has decided to go for a sustained personal attack on Modi. The decision stems from a realisation that nothing would dent his popularity so long as people believed that he is a man of impeccable integrity.
“Instead of attacking the BJP or his government, the party leaders have been asked to mount similar personal attack on Modi across the country,” a Congress leader said.