How ‘special session’ announcement changed the mood of Opposition’s Mumbai meet
Reacting to the announcement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who addressed the press on the latest revelations on the Adani group on Thursday, dubbed the Centre’s decision to call a special session “as out of panic”
Hours before the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) alliance leaders met informally in Mumbai on Thursday, the Centre announced that a special session—a rare occurrence in Parliament—will be held, which changed the tone of the Opposition’s meeting on election preparations.
On Thursday, Union minister Pralhad Joshi announced via X (formerly Twitter) that the government has called for a “special session of Parliament” to be held from September 18 to 22, adding, that there will be five sittings.
“Everyone was talking about the parliament session. It suddenly became the focus of the meeting as many leaders sought quick decisions pointing out the changed scenario and bracing for the unexpected,” said a senior leader present in the meeting.
At 3.18pm on Thursday, three hours before 63 leaders of the INDIA bloc met informally to strategise for their ‘Mumbai Summit’ when key decisions about the alliance’s future strategy would be taken, parliamentary affairs minister Joshi dropped the news.
Reacting to the announcement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who addressed the press on the latest revelations on the Adani group on Thursday, dubbed the Centre’s decision to call a special session “as out of panic”.
“I think maybe it is an indicator of a little panic. The same type of panic that happened when I spoke in Parliament House, a panic that suddenly made them revoke my Parliament membership. So, I think it is panic because these matters are very close to the PM. Whenever you touch the Adani matter, the PM gets very uncomfortable and very nervous,” Gandhi said.
But in the meeting, many leaders suggested the Opposition bloc should be prepared for an early election, not discounting the possibility of the prime minister making such a move after the special session.
To be sure, the Centre has not announced its agenda for the special session and indicated that after the G20 meeting, the agenda will be disclosed.
In the meeting, however, the special session was mentioned by many top leaders. West Bengal chief minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray were among the leaders who mentioned the special session in the context of the preparations of the meeting.
“No one was prepared for the announcement on a special session of parliament. Leaders (Opposition) realised and advised that now we have to prepare ourselves to face uncertainties. We have been ahead of the game and were setting the narrative. We don’t want to fall behind and react to the BJP’s narrative,” said a third leader.
The opposition’s (INDIA) bloc of 28 parties reached Mumbai on Thursday to participate in the third national-level two-day conclave.
The meeting is being held to chart out a concrete roadmap take on the BJP-led central government in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
On Friday, many new developments have reportedly taken place, including its potential expansion, a discussion on seat-sharing strategy, unveiling of the group’s new common logo, among other agendas.
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