Congress leads protest march of 17 Opposition parties to ED office; NCP, TMC boycott

Legislators from 17 opposition parties led by the Congress took out a protest march on Wednesday from Parliament House to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office to hand over a memorandum over the Adani issue.

Almost all opposition parties jointly participated in the foot march, which was boycotted by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs. Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party (SP), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) participated in the march.

The protest march, which took place amidst an impasse between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Opposition, continued on the third day of the second phase of budget session, with charges being traded over allegations against the Adani Group and Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks in London. Heavy security was deployed both at Vijay Chowk and in front of the ED office in view of the protest march, and the marching legislators were stopped soon after they reached Vijay Chowk.

The standoff between the ruling BJP and the Congress continued for the third consecutive day, leading to the adjournment of proceedings in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha till 2 p.m. over the government’s demand for an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his democracy in India remarks in London and criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Soon after the Rajya Sabha adjourned, all MPs from these 17 parties marched towards the ED office.

Both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha faced adjournment for the whole day on Monday and Tuesday too amid pandemonium as Treasury benches sought an apology for Gandhi’s remarks in London on democracy in India, and the opposition objected to the matter and demanded a probe into the Adani Group by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

In a veiled attack on Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal raised the matter on Tuesday, pointing out that “this is the first time” a Member of Parliament used words against the democracy of India during his visit outside the country and seeking his apologies.

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