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No Sonia plan for strategy with non-NDA parties

No Sonia plan for strategy with non-NDA parties
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has no plans as of now to convene a meeting of non-NDA parties ahead of the Budget session of Parliament starting Feb 23 though the Opposition is raring to rake up issues against the government.

Party sources said that Gandhi has so far not initiated any plans for an opposition meet to decide the floor strategy in the three-month long session in which the first full- fledged Budget of the Narendra Modi government will be presented.

Congress will only hold its strategy meeting before the session, the sources said.

Opposition has remained disparate in the 15th Lok Sabha with Congress failing to secure even enough numbers to get the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lower House. It has got just 44 seats in the 543-member House AIADMK, TMC and BJD have a total of 91 members. AIADMK has 37 MPs while BJD has 20 legislators.

TMC has 34 MPs. With no dominant opposition party, the opposition space has remained divided in this Lok Sabha and there has been no meeting of non-NDA parties since the new government took over in May last. Congress sources also discounted reports that government has approached it ahead of the session to seek its cooperation on crucial bills.

Several opposition parties including the Congress, JD-U and the Left are likely to make a common cause in opposing the controversial Land Acquisition ordinance. Government is bringing as many as six bills to replace ordinances in the session.  Congress has already declared that it will strongly oppose the land ordinance contending that interests of farmers and livelihood losers will be “completely eliminated” if it becomes law as it reopens the route for forcible acquisition.
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