NCP boycotts Opposition meeting called by Sonia Gandhi

NCP boycotts Opposition meeting called by Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of 18 opposition parties on Friday, the last day of Parliament's monsoon session, to discuss the future course of action of the joint opposition and chalk out a strategy against the Modi government.

"Summary: A meeting of state-level senior leaders of both the parties was called at Vidhan Bhavan, but senior NCP leaders gave it a miss", said the Congress leader. A party MP who took part in the deliberations, against the party's decision, was penalised. It might also mean that the NCP will not show up for Friday's meeting. The JD (U) national executive will be chaired by the party chief Nitish Kumar and a decision to join the NDA government will be formally announced, he said. These include demonetisation, the hasty implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), farmers' plight, rising unemployment and the political witch hunt of Opposition leaders.

There has been a news squandering around by the Congress party that the NCP MLAs instead of voting Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, they have voted for BJP in the Rajya Sabha elections, Gujarat. Why should we be accused of not supporting it? "Conduct any meeting; nothing can hamper us in any way". Nitish Kumar, who was in the capital for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was unmoved by Sharad Yadav's growing proximity to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Mr Ansari was promptly suspended from the parliamentary party.

At the meeting, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee proposed a few joint programmes during the three months before the winter session of Parliament begins in November. The TMC chief also suggested that the next round of meetings of the opposition parties be held in different cities so that they can create an impact while taking up issues against the ruling BJP. Yechury said the Left parties in Bihar will take a decision soon on whether to participate or not in the rally.

Utilising the stage to criticise veteran BJP leader LK Advani, Gandhi said the veteran was opposed to the amendment but the special status was granted once Congress came to power in 2004 under the rule of UPA-I. "It would look more like a tamasha if we go to public without any narrative", sources quoted Yechury as saying.

The party, which returned to power in May 2013 after a decade in the opposition, will contest the assembly election on the basis of its performance over the last four years, including various welfare schemes for the people across the state, he said.