The move of seven Opposition parties to submit a notice for impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India has also sent a message to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee that she can’t dictate the larger political moves of the core Opposition camp, leaders involved in the exercise said. Banerjee had not allowed Trinamool MPs to sign the motion.
The joint move of the seven parties has showcased the ‘limits’ of Banerjee’s capacity to be an alternative to the Congress and in rallying the larger Opposition. Banerjee had assured the Congress and other parties that her MPs would sign once the rest of like-minded parties signed the motion.
However, despite repeated efforts from the Congress leadership during the fag-end the budget session, she chose to vacillate, which some leaders likened to teasing the Congress and others who had signed the petition. Adding to it was the informal boast of her MPs that Banerjee was influencing the reflexes of other regional parties who started flip-flopping.
Since the Opposition move is aimed at projecting the seven parties as determined crusaders against the ‘questionable credibility’ of the CJI and government’s alleged ‘intervention’ with the Supreme Court’s functioning, it would be curious to see how Banerjee will justify her party’s non-participation in the motion before its political constituency at a time Trinamool is facing a frontal attack from BJP. Neither Banerjee nor her party have commented on the Opposition move.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, however, diplomatically said at the news conference that the seven parties were acting on behalf of other Opposition parties who have not signed, leaving Banerjee the opportunity to extend her belated support.
The fact that some regional players such as NCP, SP and BSP joined the Congress-initiated move coincides with Trinamool’s overdrive in projecting Banerjee as PM material, a project that would require the trust and acceptability of competing regional big wigs. For the Left, it is also tactically a fulfilment to show they are in the core Opposition camp sans Banerjee.
To speculation that Trinamool, DMK and RJD have been held back by legal cases, a senior Congress leader said, “it is the Congress party and our leaders who are targeted maximum by the NDA government, even by filing all kind of cases. But we won’t buckle under pressure. Historically, the bravest and the most-determined have fought the crucial battles for the country.” >
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