Lok Sabha elections 2019: More than a dozen opposition parties discuss ways to defeat BJP

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Updated: December 10, 2018 11:53:30 PM

The meeting was called by TDP Supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who had quit NDA in March this year.

RLSP, NDA, opposition party, opposition party meet, anti-BJP front, BJP alliance, Bharatiya Janata Party, winter session, winter session begins, india newsCongress President Rahul Gandhi, former PM HD Deve Gowda, AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu, WB CM Mamata Banerjee attend a meeting of opposition parties. (PTI)

National capital Delhi witnessed a flurry of political activities on the eve of winter session of Parliament as top leaders of more than a dozen political parties gathered in Delhi to forge an anti-BJP alliance for the general elections next year. The meeting was called by TDP Supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who had quit NDA in March this year. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, DMK Chief MK Stalin, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference President and former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Farooq Abdullah were present in the crucial meeting of leading opposition leaders.

CPI-M General Secretary Siaram Yechury, Rashtriya Janata Dal Leader and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav, CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP D. Raja, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader Babulal Marandi and Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav were also present in the meeting. Besides these leaders, senior congress leaders like Ashok Gehlot, AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel were also present in the meeting.

In a related development, RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha also resigned from union council of minister as his party walked away from the BJP led National Democratic Alliance just a day before the start of winter session. After the meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee accused Modi government of creating emergency like situation. “We’ll meet the President because financial stability is not there, Reserve Bank of India Governor (Urjit Patel) has resigned. It is a matter of great concern in this country and the financial emergency has already started,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the reporters in Parliament House Annexe Building after the meeting.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Modi, Upendra Kushwaha said he felt ‘betrayed’ by his leadership. Upendra Kushwaha, a Kurmi leader from Bihar, was apparently not happy with the re-entry of another heavyweight Kurmi leader from the state, Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar and president of Janta Dal (United) back into NDA fold. However, in a setback to opposition unity, two strong regional parties from Uttar Pradesh with large voter base – Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party and Maywati led BSP – did not participate in the meeting.

Mayawati led BSP has already skipped the all party meet called by the government making clear its opposition to the NDA government’s effort to push through its legislative agenda before the general elections next year.

And by skipping the meeting of opposition parties called by TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu, BSP also made clear its displeasure against involvement of Congress in any effort to forge a common front against BJP as it is upset with the Congress over the issue of seat sharing for recently concluded Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections. BSP had not gone for seat sharing with Congress for these elections. Uttar Pradesh is most populous and politically most important state in the country which sends 80 members in the Lok Sabha. Bhartiya Janata Party had won 71 seats in this politically crucial state in 2014 elections, that account for one fourth of the seats won by the party nationally, giving any party a clear majority in the lower house after a gap of thirty years.

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