Sonia Gandhi calls opposition meet for joint action

Karnataka poll Rahul Gandhi bets on Congress win

Earlier today, Sharad Yadav claimed that he had sent fellow party leader Ali Anwar Ansari to attend a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, so that Bihar-like grand alliance is replicated countrywide. His turnaround comes after Mrs Gandhi's party, the Congress, suggested that he had betrayed it in the recent Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. The widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who belonged to the Nehru-Gandhi family, was invited by Congress leaders to take over the reins of the party after her husband's assassination in 1991, but she vehemently refused to lead it. Speaking about Yadav and his disagreements over Kumar's decision to join the NDA, Kumar, who was in New Delhi on Friday, said that the decision was a joint one taken by his party and Yadav was free to hold any opinion he wanted to. The Congress did not say anything on this issue publicly but its leaders let it be known in private conversations that the NCP had voted for the BJP and that it was the Janata Dal (U) candidate who had cast the deciding vote.

Justifying the no-show, NCP MP Praful Patel said his party was angry at being accused of not voting for Ahmed Patel despite having issued a whip in his favour. "That is why we chose to boycott this meeting".

Though the Nitish Kumar-led JDU has been excluded from the list following its realignment with BJP, Congress has signalled a solidarity message by extending invitation to dissenting JDU leader Sharad Yadav, even though he will be in the middle of a Bihar tour on Friday. On his part, Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said NCP chief Pawar was unwell and he had spoken to him ahead of the meeting.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said his party is of the view that the Narendra Modi regime can be opposed by creating an alternative narrative through the struggles of people.


Sources said the Opposition leaders discussed taking up state-specific issues to corner the BJP and forming on a common minimum agenda.

Accusing the Modi government of indulging in false and hollow promises, the congress leader said people know that Congress will do, what it says.

He said if there is a people's struggle, the Left would support it.

Hitting out at the government on demonetisation, Gandhi said, "last year I don't know what happened on November 8th Narendra Modi got an idea, he came on the TV and said Bhaio, Behno I'm going to ban the notes in your pockets.as though it was fun".

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