Presidential Elections 2022: Asaduddin Owaisi, skipped for Opposition meet, says wouldn’t have attended even otherwise

In a bid to put up a collective fight against the Narendra Modi-government, Banerjee has invited several leaders to come together and reach a consensus on a presidential candidate from the Opposition camp.

Would have skipped the meeting even if I was invited, said Owaisi.

AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that his party was not invited to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s crucial opposition meeting to discuss the upcoming presidential elections. Owaisi, however, said that even if he was invited, he would have skipped the meeting because of Congress’ presence.

“I was not invited. Even if I were invited, I would not have participated. The reason is Congress. The TMC party which speaks ill about us, even if they had invited us, we would not have gone just because they invited the Congress,” Owaisi told news agency ANI.

The West Bengal CM reached Delhi on Tuesday for the big opposition meeting to be held today. On reaching Delhi, Banerjee decided to visit Sharad Pawar at the NCP supremo’s Delhi residence, leading to speculation of Banerjee’s bid to back the 81-year-old leader for the President poll. However, Pawar has repeatedly ruled himself out of the presidential race, despite other political parties including Congress and AAP expressing similar interests.

In a bid to put up a collective fight against the Narendra Modi-government, Banerjee has invited several leaders to come together and reach a consensus on a presidential candidate from the Opposition camp.

Despite differences with the TMC and Congress, the Grand Old Party is likely to send senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, and Randeep Singh Surjewala to the meeting called by Banerjee. Earlier, the West Bengal CM had attacked the Congress on several occasions, while stressing the need to form a non-Congress alliance against the ruling BJP party. Former BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal, which was also invited, is likely to give the meeting a miss, citing the presence of Congress. Even K Chandrashekhar Rao’s party TRS will also miss the meeting due to Congress. Biju Patnaik’s BJ(D) has also chosen to stay out.

Apart from Congress, other parties that are slated to attend the meeting are Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference (NC), Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Hemant Soren-led JMM, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, IUML, PDP, JDS and RLD. The CPI (M) is likely to attend as well despite being at the opposition front in TMC-ruled Bengal.

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