Mamata Banerjee meeting: The leader met Sharad Pawar on Tuesday. (File)
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi will likely skip Mamata Banerjee’s meeting of opposition parties today. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will also skip the meeting but will send their representatives. Banerjee had invited 22 opposition parties to discuss formulating a common strategy for the upcoming presidential elections.
The Congress said consensus on a joint candidate cannot be built without it.
“MK Stalin (TN CM), K Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana CM), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra CM) and many big leaders aren’t participating…we want unity and a unanimous (Presidential) candidate… Electing a candidate (for the upcoming Presidential elections) can’t happen without the Congress as we have nearly 50% votes. But we will still go to the meeting to fight together, as we don’t want to break the unity. We want to fight against the BJP,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI.
Congress, TMC and TRS are involved in a political tussle over spearheading the Opposition in the 2024 general elections.
Meanwhile, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said he was not invited to the Opposition’s meeting. He said he would not have attended the meeting even if was invited because of the presence of the Congress.
AAP sources told news agencies that the party would not attend such meetings until the candidate for the Presidential election is declared.
HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy, RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary, Mehbooba Mufti are expected to attend the meeting. TR Baalu will represent the DMK. Subhash Desai will be the representative of Shiv Sena.
Akali Dal is also likely to skip the meeting.
The Left parties, however, will send their representatives.
Banerjee landed in Delhi on Tuesday and met NCP chief Sharad Pawar. She reportedly urged Pawar to drop his hat in the presidential race but he declined as he wants to continue active politics.
Voting for the presidential elections will take place on July 18. Results will declared on July 21.
With inputs from ANI, IANS