Sonia Gandhi to meet with fellow opposition party heads to discuss strategy for Parliament’s Monsoon session

Sonia Gandhi, the interim leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), will meet with fellow opposition party heads to discuss

File

Photo: File

Sonia Gandhi, the interim leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), will meet with fellow opposition party heads to discuss strategy for Parliament’s Monsoon session.

The opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is divided among eighteen parties while the INC has been plagued by leadership uncertainties and backbench grumbling since its fall from government in 2014. Nonetheless, opposition MPs have found common cause in the last month by protesting the government’s use of Pegasus spyware to hack phones of opposition parliamentarians, civil servants, journalists, and activists.

Items on the agenda include crafting a joint statement tying together criticism of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s handling of the Pegasus affair, recent agricultural protests and a lackluster COVID-19 vaccination rollout. In doing so, the opposition may successfully present themselves as a united opposition front and capitalize on Modi’s slide in the polls in preparation for the March 2022 Uttar Pradesh legislative elections. This contest affords the next chance for the party to prove itself as a feasible government-in-waiting rather than a fractious coalition. Nevertheless, as the BJP’s NDA government still remains widely popular,  major shifts in power are unlikely in the medium-term.

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