Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Dinner boost to Opposition unity

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has to guard against Prime Minister Narendra Modi creating a pro-poor wave in favour of the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections Leaders of 20 Oppn parties at Sonia Gandhi's dinner: Grand 2019 alliance in the making?
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2018, 09:47

Leaders of 20 opposition parties tonight got together at a dinner hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, where possibilities of putting up a united front to defeat the BJP in the next general elections were discussed.

The leaders included Sharad Pawar, chief of Nationalist Congress Party; Jitan Ram Manjhi, chief of Hindustan Awam Morcha who recently quit NDA; Kanimozhi of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam; Tejashwi Yadav, former deputy Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader; Babulal Marandi, former Jharkhand chief minister and leaders from Left parties.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel were among the Congress biggies who were present at the dinner.

"The intention is not political, but to hold discussions in family-like setting at a time when the nation is confronted with a number of issues and thousands of crores being taken out of the country", Congress' Chief SPokesman Randeep Surjewala said after the dinner. The dinner meet also saw other Yadav clan members like Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejaswi Yadav and his sister Misa Bharti attend the event. He had earlier said, "Will not be able to attend the dinner as the Assembly session in Tamil Nadu was beginning from March 15".

As many as 20 opposition parties are attending the dinner hosted by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi.

"Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", Gandhi said in a tweet.

Sources in the SP and BSP, however, maintained that the dinner meet can not be seen as an attempt to forge an alliance and that "regional parties" will continue to have an "inevitable greater control in state politics".

NCAA Tournament 2018: Winners and Losers of Day 1
Radford also held Blackbirds' leading scorer Joel Hernandez to eight points, 12 below his season averaged of 20 ppg. Radford shot the ball well at 47.5% which was an easy victor versus the 38% accuracy of the Blackbirds.

"Trinamool Congress' Mamata Banerjee, which was represented by party lawmaker Sudip Bandyopadhya, was the first one to welcome Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's call to float a non-BJP, non-Congress third front". It could not be taken up amid objections raised by opposition parties who have written to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan requesting her intervention. "This is a part of that effort", said expelled Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said when asked if there will be a front of opposition parties in 2019.

"It continues to have a similar repressive mindset toward democracy".

The government has no plans to curtail the ongoing Budget Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said here on Tuesday even as he launched a strident attack on the Congress for disruptions in both the Houses of Parliament.

The Congress put the onus on the government to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

Mr Kumar added that Congress president Rahul Gandhi went overseas because he could not face defeat in the elections.

The BJP, however, dubbed the dinner as of no outcome.

PTI contributed to the story.

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