Sun, 01 Mar 2015
United Opposition Takes Out March,Requests President not to allow government’s amendments
New Delhi : In a move that has unnerved the Modi government, Members of Parliament from 14 Opposition parties put up a united front against the NDA’s proposed land law and marched from Parliament house to Rashtrapati Bhawan on 17th March evening.
The protest march took the stiff resistance to the Bill from inside Parliament and brought it to full public glare on the street, albeit the heavily sanitised Raisina Hill. The MPs, led by Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi, marched out of Parliament shouting “Take back the black law.” Smt. Gandhi said the Opposition had “requested the President to intervene and not allow the government to go ahead with the amendments.”
The Opposition parties petitioning the President assumes increased significance since the government is mulling re-promulgation of the December 2014 land ordinance in case the Bill is not passed by the Rajya Sabha. Smt. Sonia Gandhi said the Opposition would not allow the Bill to be passed in the Upper House where the BJP-led ruling alliance is in a minority.
“All progressive, secular and democratic forces are determined to defeat the Modi government’s design to promote divisions and social disharmony,” Smt. Sonia Gandhi told reporters. “We are here to oppose the government’s amendments to the right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition law.”
The government tried to put up a brave front in the face of the protest that saw archrivals such as the Left and the Trinamool Congress unite against the government. “All parties are together today. This is a historic march. I hope the Modi government is watching this march,” TMC leader Derek O’Brien said. The BSP, BJD and the AIADMK did not join the march. “The BSP is with the Opposition, but said it would not be a part of the march,” a senior Congress leader said.
The march had come as a booster for the Congress party’s morale as it was able to rally Opposition parties around the land Bill, said party leaders present on the occasion.