NCP boycotts Opposition meeting called by Sonia Gandhi

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The plan comes days after 66-year-old Ahmed Patel's election as a Rajya Sabha member, surviving cross-voting and defections for which the Congress has blamed ruling BJP.

Leaders of 18 Opposition parties led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will meet to chalk out a common strategy to corner the NDA government on a range of issues in the national capital on Friday.

This came after Nitish severed ties last month with the Grand Alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress to form a government in Bihar with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday is learnt to have assured Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar that the party would stand by him. The 16 parties, which attended the meeting, made a decision to form a sub-group to prepare a agenda ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament. Also NCP skipping the meeting shows that Congress has no power and has lost it long back.

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Besides top Congress leaders, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is also likely to attend the meeting along with other senior leaders like Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Sitaram Yechury, sources said.

Meanwhile, Azad said the joint meetings of the opposition parties have helped in better floor coordination which was lacking earlier. Apart from NCP, M Jose of Kerala Congress (Mani) excused himself from the meeting as he had a party programme on Friday.

In her statement, Sonia Gandhi said that her heart goes out to the families of the innocent children who fell prey to "gross negligence and incorrigible misconduct on the part of the authorities". It was in meetings like these where these two were chosen as unanimous candidates. The farmer-related issue, increasing communal tension, misuse of investigating agencies, subversion of democratic institutions, attack on opposition leaders, etc were to be discussed.

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