New Delhi: Top Opposition leaders will come together on Monday to discuss forming a grand alliance to take on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Headed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the meeting is scheduled to be held at 3.30 PM at Parliament House Annexe in the national capital.
Called to chart out a future course of action for forming a non-BJP front, the Opposition meeting comes just a day before the results of the Assembly Election 2018 for the five states– Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram. Earlier, the meeting was planned for November 22 but had to be deferred.
The BJP, meanwhile, mocked the scheduled meeting of opposition parties and said they should first declare a prime ministerial candidate before thinking of ousting the Narendra Modi government.
“It’s really good to see opposition parties trying to forge an alliance to fight against us. But, first let them declare their prime ministerial candidate, then they should dream of fighting against us and ousting us. We have Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is their PM candidate?” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
The Opposition meeting is likely to be attended by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav are also among those likely to attend the meeting.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was likely to attend the Opposition meet, but in case he is unable to attend it, then senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav would be present, said a party source.
It may be noted that last month, Naidu had met the heads of several opposition parties, including Rahul Gandhi, and termed the TDP’s alliance with the Congress a ‘democratic compulsion’ to protect the country.
Meanwhile, Monday will also witness an all-party meeting called by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. The meeting, called on the eve of the Winter Session of Parliament, will also mark the attendance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is expected to build a consensus for a smooth conduct of the proceedings in the Upper House, beginning on December 11.
Among other prominent figures, the all-party meet is expected to be attended by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and the Leader of the House, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The Winter Session of Parliament, which will conclude on January 8, is likely to be stormy with the Opposition raking up issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST), Rafale fighter jets deal, among others.