Sharad Pawar's NCP skips meeting called to discuss Opposition unity

Frederick Owens
August 14, 2017

Calling upon the party's state leaders and cadres to work together with unity, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the party would win the assembly election in the state due in April-May 2018. Mr Pawar had earlier confirmed that he would depute a representative to the session. Nitish Kumar's JD (U) has already jumped ship and moved to the NDA.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) skipped a meeting of Opposition political parties on Friday. But so did the lone Gujarat lawmaker from the Bihar Chief Minister's party, which meant he defied his boss' instructions. "Wherever we have our governments, we stand by the farmers who make the country proud by toiling in their fields", he said in his Hindi speech.

The NCP, Mr. Praful Patel said, was not the Congress's B team, it was not in alliance with it in any State, and yet it had extended support in the Gujarat RS polls.

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Yechury also walked out of the meeting saying the CPI (M) has made a decision to launch an independent peoples' struggle on twin issues of agrarian crisis and unemployment to build a popular alternative narrative to the propaganda unleashed bu the Modi-led BJP.

At its meeting today, the opposition plans to strategise on how to confront the BJP in the next few months, both within and outside parliament.

Leaders of 16 opposition parties, including Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, Yechury, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, RJD's JPN Yadav, CPI's D Raja, SP's Naresh Agarwal, RLD's Ajit Singh among others met here to chalk out the joint opposition programme for the next three months. On the 27th, most of its A-listers are to attend a rally in Patna called by Lalu Yadav to attack PM Modi and his policies. These MLAs, along with Shankersinh Vaghela, were removed from the party for six years on Wednesday, a day after the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8.

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