Kharge, Rahul, Mamata to attend Oppn meet in Patna

Kharge, Rahul, Mamata to attend Oppn meet in Patna

  • KCR, Naidu, Patnaik likely to skip

New Delhi: After two failed attempts, the much-awaited Opposition meet now seems to be coming together as June 23 was announced as the fresh date by JDU national president Lalan Singh and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav in a joint press conference.

Lalan Singh said, “After talking to everyone, it is decided that all opposition parties will meet on June 23. The meeting will be held in Patna. The parties will unite against the BJP.”

Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackey), Hemant Soren (JMM), Arvind Kejriwal (AAP), MK Stalin (DMK), D Raja (CPI), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPI-ML) will attend the meeting.

The date was postponed from June 12 because both Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed their inability to attend the meeting then. DMK president Stalin too had conveyed that he would not be able to come on the scheduled date. However, now the leaders have agreed to attend the mega meet in Patna on June 23.

While Bihar CM Nitish Kumar tries to put up a united front, the uncertainty regarding three crucial regional players may throw a spanner in the works.

While announcing the date of the meeting, the name of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was not taken by both the leaders at the press conference. A highly placed source said KCR hasn’t made up his mind about joining the ‘one against one’ bloc since there are differences with the Congress. In a public meeting in Nagarkurnool recently, KCR slammed the Congress and asked the people to ‘dump the party in Bay of Bengal’. Moreover, KCR has occupied himself with the expansion of his Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) party in other states.

The 76-year-old Odisha CM and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has always been on the fence about supporting the BJP-led NDA or the Congress. An attempt was also made on May 9 by the Bihar CM but in vain as ‘no politics was discussed’ in the meeting between him and Patnaik in Bhubaneswar. Patnaik has always played safe in the past. Besides, he has no interest in national politics and is happy being the Chief Minister of Odisha, according to his close aides.

The outcome of the recent Karnataka polls seems to have had a spill-over effect on neighbouring Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Telugu Desam Party chief and former Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu flew down to Delhi on June 3 to hold parleys with the top BJP leadership.

Naidu’s meeting with Amit Shah sparked talks in political circles. It was the first meeting between Naidu and Shah after a bitter parting of ways between the two parties in 2018 when the TDP accused the Modi government of showing indifference towards party’s demand for granting special status to Andhra Pradesh.

According to political observers, Naidu is trying to get into an alliance with the BJP as he finds difficult to stand against the YSRCP led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in AP.

It will hence be uncertain for Naidu to attend a united Opposition meeting at a time when he is trying to gain the confidence of the BJP.

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