New Delhi: Sonia To Attend United Opposition Conclave In B’luru, Kharge Invites 24 Parties

New Delhi: Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi will attend the 2-day meeting of the Opposition parties in Bengaluru that starts with a dinner to be hosted by her. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has sent invitations for the meeting to 24 parties as against 15 attending the first conclave in Patna. The meeting may discuss name of the opposition front and its coordinator, who may be Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

Though the NCP split engineered by the BJP spurred speculation of the opposition alliances fragmenting in other states, a majority of the opposition leaders are getting wary of the RSS-backed BJP which has abandoned all principles and dumped the morality in dustbin to remain in power.

This will be also the first meeting bringing on one platform Mamata Banerjee as also the Left and the Congress after fighting the Bengal panchayat polls that were swept by her Trinamul Congress, beating the BJP and leaving the left and Congress at a distant third.

8 parties to join the Bengaluru meeting

Eight parties are expected to join the Bengaluru meeting. Together, the 24 parties have around 150 Lok Sabha members and they are seeking to expand their base. The eight parties joining them are MDMK, KDMK, VCK, RSP, Forward Bloc, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Kerala Congress(Joseph) and Kerala Congress (Mani). The first two were allies of the BJP during 2014 elections that propelled Narendra Modi as the prime minister.

Three working groups in the meeting will work out a stricture and name of the opposition alliance, besides preparing a common agenda, fine tune state level tie-ups, and schedule of the joint opposition meetings. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who has been unwell, has said that he will travel to Bengaluru for the meeting.

The meeting ends on July 18, just two days before Parliament’s monsoon session where the Opposition will be face to face with the ruling BJP on many contentious issues.

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