Ahmed Patel back in action as Congress' backroom boy
Political secretary to the Congress president, Ahmed Patel has emerged once again as the backroom boy for the party. Wednesday night, Congress party decided to unite all opposition members in the Rajya Sabha to protest against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's barb against his predecessor Manmohon Singh.
In absence of Rajya Sabha oppsition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is busy in campaigning for the party in Uttar Pradesh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi entrusted Congress president confidante Ahmed Patel to talk to the opposition members in the Rajya Sabha.
An opposition party MP confirmed that it was Patel who telephoned all the opposition party leaders. TMC Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien after getting a call from Patel consulted party supremo Mamta Banerjee in kolkata. She gave her consent to show solidarity with the Congress on this issue.
Later today, O'Brien said that his party's decesion to show solidarity with the Congress is not merely because Monmohon Singh is a Congress leader but the office of the Prime Minister was insulted by the present Prime Minister.
O'Brien dismissed BJP chief Amit Shah's comments who had justified Prime Minister's comment by saying that even Congress president Sonia Gandhi had criticised Narendra Modi in an election meeting as maut ka saudagar.
O'Brien said that the comment was made by Congress president against the chief minister of Gujarat. But, the two cases are different.
Today, all the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha met in the chamber of Rajya Sabha opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was not present in the capital. Instead of Azad, political secretary of the Congress president Patel chaired the meeting. In the meeting, apart from TMC, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and others were present. In the meeting, it was decided that when the house resumes, they all would protest and demand an apology from the Prime Minister for making unparliamentary remarks against a former Prime Minister.
Interestengly, in the ongoing budget session, there was no instance of showing the opposition unity inside the parliament because of absence of MPs from the election-bound states.
In the last winter session, members of 15 opposition parties used to meet in the morning to chalk out a joint strategy for the day. Today, it was the first instance when Patel could mobilise all the opposition parties. Today, was also the last day of the first half of the budget session.