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Common Minimum Programme dropped as agenda for opposition meet, Balakot air strikes to be discussed now

Common Minimum Programme dropped as agenda for opposition meet, Balakot air strikes to be discussed now
Highlights

The opposition parties have decided to drop the formulation of the Common Minimum Programme as the agenda for their meeting on Wednesday and will now discuss the strikes against the terror camps in Pakistan instead, sources said

NEW DELHI: The opposition parties have decided to drop the formulation of the Common Minimum Programme as the agenda for their meeting on Wednesday and will now discuss the strikes against the terror camps in Pakistan instead, sources said.

Senior leaders in the opposition confirmed that in a discussion with the Congress, the CPI(M) and the CPI said that they will only be part of the meeting if Common Minimum Programme is off the table.

With the change in agenda, sources said Left parties are now on board.

Opposition leaders who are set to attend the meeting are Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, among others.

Sources indicated that throughout the day Congress was in two minds about the meeting as they felt that it would be bad optics to criticise the government or Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after the strikes in Pakistan which even the opposition parties have lauded.

"The problem is that not holding the meeting would also mean receding space to the BJP. From the beginning we were saying that let the opposition meeting be on Pulwama," said an opposition leader.

The Trinamool Congress said that Banerjee's book launch event here has been cancelled.

After the February 13 meeting of opposition leaders, the decision to formulate a Common Minimum Programme was mooted, which would act as a roadmap for them to fight the Lok Sabha elections against the BJP.

The Left parties had maintained that forging a national-level tie-up should be taken up after the elections and so should be the Common Minimum Programme.

They feel that the priority should be to forge state-level alliances and the primary objective of the opposition parties at the national level should be to defeat the BJP.

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