New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exhorted even parties “without a president” to come for his all-party meeting today where the issue of ‘one nation, one election’ is to be discussed. (Catch LIVE Updates of Parliament Session Here)
However, reports say that many Opposition party chiefs are set to give the meeting a miss. While Congress has had everyone guessing as to its decision, party leader Gaurav Gogoi told ANI, “As far as I know our party is not attending the meeting.”
Among other senior leaders not attending is Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. AAP leader Raghav Chadha will represent the party.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu will also not attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy will attend the meeting and so will NCP chief Sharad Pawar. The Left parties will reportedly oppose PM Modi’s idea of one nation, one election, saying that it increases the scope for Central intervention.
A leading daily claimed that senior Opposition leader felt that constituents of the United Progressive Alliance or those associated with the grouping were unhappy with the government’s invite to only the presidents of those parties represented in Parliament. It did not leave any scope for sending a representative.
Trinamool chief Banerjee, in a letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, sought a white paper from the Government, especially if it wanted “concrete suggestions”.
The DMK said Stalin had “prior commitments” so he wouldn’t come for the meeting. The party is opposed to the PM’s idea. Banerjee also claimed the parties were given too little time to respond.
“A proper response on such a sensitive and serious subject like the ‘one country, one election’ in such a short time would not do justice to the subject it deserves,” she wrote. Other Opposition leaders have not given reasons for not attending.
At an all-party meeting on Sunday, the PM had said he wanted a debate on ‘one nation, one election’, saying a lot of time, energy and money was spent on holding elections as each state goes to the polls at different times.