Opposition meet on Presidential polls: 17 parties attend, 5 give it a miss
Congress & Left parties join Mamata Banerjee's meeting in Delhi.
Leaders of 17 political parties joined Mamata Banerjee at her meeting called in Delhi today over the upcoming Presidential polls, while five chose to stay away. Banerjee had invited 22 political parties to attend the meeting at 2 pm today in New Delhi’s Constitution Club. The meeting was indicative of the equations between Opposition political parties from across the country ahead of the Presidential polls scheduled on July 18. But it appeared to be more than that – also a test of how Opposition unity may unfold ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress joined the meeting, looking beyond the strains that it had developed with Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in recent times. The Left parties too joined the meeting. NCP leader Sharad Pawar is also in the meeting. Soon after reaching Delhi, Mamata Banerjee had met Pawar. Shiv Sena, CPI-ML, CPI were other parties to attend the meeting. Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, who is the Trinamool Congress national general secretary, was present along with Mamata Banerjee, to host the meeting.
Among the important absentees was Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led by Telengana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, whose ties with Banerjee over their mutual goal of defeating the BJP has been a talking point. TRS raised objections regarding Congress’ presence in the meeting alleging that the party had teamed up with the BJP in the recent bypolls in Telengana. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also chose to stay away. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also stayed away. Shiromani Akali Dal also decided to not attend the meeting. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP also stayed away.