Nitish Kumar snubs Sonia Gandhi for lunch with Narendra Modi

Toni Houston
May 27, 2017

The decision on the conditional contest for the presidential election was taken at a luncheon meeting hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi that brought arch-rivals Samajwadi Party and BSP's Mayawati, and the Left parties and Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the same table.

The chief minister further said he will attend the lunch as he was invited in honour of the visiting of Mauritius Prime Minister. Senior JDU leader Sharad Yadav represented the party in the meeting.

The Congress-led Opposition parties decided on Friday to form a panel to pick their Presidential candidate but insisted that they will first wait for the government to propose the name of a "suitable and consensus" candidate.

Nitish on Friday missed the lunch organized by the Congress President, which was attended by Sharad Yadav.

Invitations had been sent to JD (U), CPI, CPI-M, SP, DMK, NCP, RJD and TMC, besides some other big and small regional parties.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja informed that no name for the Presidential candidate has been discussed, adding that the Opposition is waiting for the Centre to initiate talks on the same. Former national president of our party Sharad Yadav went for the lunch on behalf of JD (U).

"The statement of Lalu proclaiming himself as the leader of the Grand Alliance has not gone down well". Nitish, too, on several recent occasions in Patna, has called for Opposition unity for the Presidential polls and even said that he would support a second term for President Pranab Mukherjee.

Representatives of JD (S), Kerala Congress, AIUDF, IUML, RSP, and JMM were also present.

"Elections to the posts of president and vice-president are forthcoming".

"If the government comes up with a secular candidate with an unblemished past and without any affiliation to a political party, the opposition will consider it", this person said.

At the meeting, the opposition leaders discussed the record of the Modi government, touching in detail on the grave situation in Kashmir and Saharanpur, the unchecked spate of heinous crimes over the last three years that had been unleashed against Dalits, youth, women, and minorities, and demonetisation.

Yadav also said that this opposition unity will continue till the next Lok Sabha elections and "take the challenge" together. He said the leaders of all parties would also work together in raising issues both outside and inside Parliament.

Other opponent leaders used the stage for an unified opposition as a tool to criticise the central government for their policies.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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