Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has sent a strong message across to the Opposition leaders as after skipping lunch with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday, he is now set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at PM’s residence in New Delhi on Saturday, according to a report by Times Now. Responding to the news, Nitish Kumar said he will be attending the lunch as it is being organised in honour of Mauritius Prime Minister. “I will attend lunch which will be organized in honour of Mauritius Prime Minister tomorrow, as I have been invited,” he was quoted saying by ANI. Earlier, JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said this is only an official meet and nothing personal will be discussed. While talking to the channel another JD (U) leader Pawan K Verma clarified by saying as far as luncheon given by Sonia Gandhi, it had been decided that Sharad Yadav would attend the lunch. But, If this meeting does take place, it will be a huge blow for Gandhi and other Opposition leaders who are planning to come together to fight off Narendra Modi and BJP’s surge in India.
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The news came after JD (U) chief decided to skip the lunch with opposition leaders at the Parliament and sent senior party leader Sharad Yadav in his place. The meeting was attended by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Ahmed Patel, another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, leader A.K. Antony, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, CPI’s D Raja and JD(U) veteran Sharad Yadav, veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajma, JD (S) member CS Puttaraju, the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav, Naresh Agarwal, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati, DMK leader Kanimozhi, Kerala Congress leader Jose Mani, IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty, National Conference’s working president Omar Abdullah, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) member N.K.Premachandran, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Party (JMM) MP Sanjeev Kumar, J. Iemant Soren, as per a PTI report.
One of the agendas for the meeting was to decide on a joint opposition candidate for the upcoming Presidential polls. However, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee after the meeting said if the parties don’t agree on one name then a “small committee” could be formed to help them select a suitable nominee.