Presidential election 2017: As the stage is set for the much-awaited presidential poll, the Opposition led by Congress has called for a meeting on July 11 in order to find a common ground on various other issues between the non-NDA parties. As per a report by Indian Express, the meeting is also aimed at taking a final call on the name for vice-president nominee. The meeting is aimed to create a larger Opposition unity with issues such as farmers unrest across the country and roles of Governors and Lieutenant Governors appointed by NDA in Opposition-ruled states and Union territories. Speaking about the same, a leader from the Opposition camp told Indian Express, “The echo of the meeting will be heard in Parliament when the monsoon session begins on July 17.”
The report also states that the Opposition parties, in the past, have discussed the farmer agitation during their meeting on the Presidential polls. After the meeting, all the parties came to a general consensus and decided to launch a nationwide protest demanding a comprehensive loan waiver policy and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission.
Indian Express also stated that Janata Dal United (JDU) leader Sharad Yadav’s call for Bharat Bandh on June 30 was supported by most of the parties present in the meet. While Congress President Sonia Gandhi wanted the bandh to be organised on June 28, leaders from Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Samajwadi Party (SP) said that they would discuss the issue with their leadership and revert.
However, the Bharat Bandh plan could not be implemented because of the war of words between JDU and other parties of the Opposition. JDU representatives in the meeting were questioned about Bihar CM Nitish Kumar supporting NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Nitish on Monday called for an alternative agenda of the Opposition and highlighted that the political theatrics on the back of presidential poll had sidelined the farmers’ issue.
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While speaking to Indian Express. JDU general secretary K C Tyagi said, “While JD(U) had made it clear that its support to Kovind was an isolated affair and that it will back an Opposition nominee for Vice-President, we are clear that the Opposition unity efforts must go beyond the Vice-Presidential poll.”