New Delhi: Buoyed by her party’s performance in the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections, interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of opposition leaders on Monday to work out a strategy on key economic issues and garner support for the party’s proposed agitation on slowdown, rising unemployment and agrarian crisis.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar will meet Gandhi in Delhi on Monday, senior party leader Ajit Pawar has said.
Ajit, who was deputy chief minister in the previous Congress-NCP government, also said on Saturday that the two parties have maintained right from the day of Assembly poll results (October 24) that they will sit in opposition.
"Sharad Pawar will visit Delhi on Monday. I have information that he and Sonia Gandhi had spoken over phone recently...he will speak to her (in Delhi)....A lot depends on what they discuss," said Ajit Pawar.
"But the Congress and NCP have maintained right from the day of results that they have been mandated to sit in opposition. We have prepared ourselves to sit in opposition," he added.
The Congress has called for nationwide protests from November 5 to 15 against the Narendra Modi government's policies with special focus on economic crisis, unemployment and farm distress, before the beginning of the Winter Session of Parliament from November 18 to December 13.
The party has also decided to oppose a proposed trade deal among members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a grouping of 16 nations, including India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will finalise the free trade deal at the RCEP Summit during his three-day trip to Bangkok beginning Saturday.
The Congress has claimed that the RCEP agreement would be the third 'jolt' to the country's economy after demonetisation and ‘flawed’ implementation of GST, and demanded that the government explain to the people the cost benefit analysis of the mega free-trade pact.
“Now, Make in India has been made Sale in India programme. In place of Make in India, the government of India has resolved that sell in India, make elsewhere. Its outline has been made through RCEP," Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh had said last month.
Ironically, it was the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government which decided to participate in the trade deal negotiations in 2012.
The deal has also been facing 'increasing' resistance from domestic industry, farmer groups, civil society organisations and opposition political parties who say China will dump cheaper goods into India.
(With inputs from PTI)