With an agenda of forming a grand alliance against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at least 14 opposition parties are all set to meet in the national capital on Monday. Interestingly, the meeting comes just a day ahead of the beginning of winter session of Parliament and counting of the five state assembly elections.
The meet is being coordinated by Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu who has renewed his efforts of bringing together anti-BJP parties on the same platform. Apart from Congress, key regional parties as well as Left Parties are expected to attend the meeting.
“We can say this is a meeting to hold preliminary discussions on the new front that is emerging and finetuning what should be some of our key agendas. We are likely to have a discussion on what are some of the crucial anti-people policies that the current government is running and how do we take that message of change among the common masses," a senior TDP leader said requesting anonymity.
According to the leader quoted above 14 parties have been invited and almost all of them will either be represented by its party chiefs or senior leaders. This includes Congress, Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Left parties led by Communist Party of India (Marxist) as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
While Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal led AAP is known to have accepted the invite, if indeed it attends the meet it would be first such formal opposition meeting in the national capital which its incumbent will attend. Monday’s meeting is likely to be attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi as well as his predecessor Sonia Gandhi.
The meeting, which is scheduled to take place at 3PM at Parliament House Annexe on Monday, is also likely to see the opposition parties sit together and discuss a common agenda for the winter session of Parliament.
According to a news report by Press Trust of India, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, DMK president M K Stalin, Kejriwal, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav are likely to attend the meeting.
On Sunday, Stalin and other senior DMK leaders held a ‘courtesy’ meeting with the Gandhis on the occasion of Sonia Gandhi’s birthday. Rahul Gandhi later wrote on Twitter that he is looking forward to ‘strengthening of alliance, that has stood the test of time’.