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Cracks in Mamata Banerjee-led ‘opposition meet’ for Presidential polls


New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday will hold a meeting with several Opposition leaders to discuss presidential polls and put up a united fight against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.

However, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is not likely to send a representative to Mamata’s meeting amid moves to forge consensus for an opposition-backed candidate. Further, sources also informed that Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is not participating in the meeting. Sources in the party also informed that AAP will consider the issue only after the candidate for the upcoming Presidential election is declared.

 

The West Bengal Chief Minister flew to the national capital and met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Tuesday ahead of the meeting. The presidential elections will take place on July 18 and the results will be declared on July 21.

The leaders who would likely to take part in the meeting include former minister HD Deve Gowda and his son and Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Jayant Chaudhary and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti.

MK Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will be represented by TR Baalu while Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai will attend the meeting.

 

Samajwadi Party and National Conference will also attend the meeting.

Sources said Congress will also participate in the meeting to be held at the Constitution Club. Congress leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, and Randeep Singh Surjewala are likely to attend the meeting.

Banerjee has also sent an invitation to former BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal but it is unlikely to attend the meeting.

Communist Party of India general secretary D Raja on Tuesday said that Left parties are likely to attend the meeting. CPI-M and other Left parties are rivals of the ruling TMC in Bengal.

 

Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, which has been invited, is unlikely to attend the meeting.

Banerjee had earlier written a letter to 22 leaders, including Left parties, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and chief ministers of opposition-ruled states.



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