Mayavati, Akhilesh absent at Opposition conclave

The much-hyped conclave of the non-BJP parties, held in New Delhi on Monday, failed to make moves towards forming Opposition Front, to defeat BJP in the 2019 polls. The meeting mostly confined to chalk out strategies to corner BJP in the ensuing Parliament winter session.

The absence of two crucial leaders, BSP supremo Mayawathi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, makes the opposition attempts to formulate an alternate front to face BJP, non-starter.

A day ahead of the results of assembly polls in five states and the start of the Winter Session, senior leaders of over a dozen opposition parties including the Congress and the TMC met in the national capital as part of attempts to forge a united front to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The opposition meeting was coordinated by Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu and a number of opposition leaders were invited. For the first time Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal attended the opposition conclave.

However, the meeting seems to be confined to attack PM Modi’s governance, more than swing into action for united political action. Most of the leaders said to be indicated issue of alliance should be discussed only after results of Lok Sabha poll. That makes to push Congress to corner in opposition conclave.

The meeting was attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh, H D Deva Gowda, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar,  DMK chief M K Stalin, National Conference Supremo Farooq Abdullah, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri, CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy, LJD leader Sharad Yadav and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader Babulal Marandi.

Top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot were also present.  Banerjee, after the meeting, said, “BJP is behaving like dictator, there should be campaign against this rule”. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said, “The Goal is to defeat the BJP and protect India’s institutions”.

The BJP dubbed the opposition meet as a “photo opportunity” with its spokesperson Sambit Patra alleging it is a meeting of the “corrupt” to “save themselves”.  BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya took a dim view of the meeting and said Sunday the opposition parties should first declare a prime ministerial candidate before thinking of ousting the Modi government.

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