New Delhi, 15 June
TRS, BJD, AAP and SAD are likely to attend an opposition meeting called on Wednesday by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to come to a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the NDA in the presidential election.
Banerjee had last week invited leaders of 19 political parties, including seven chief ministers, for a meeting in the national capital to create a “confluence of opposition voices” for the July 18 elections.
Sources in the three parties said that leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal, Aam Aadmi Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi will not attend the meeting. A BJD leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the party is yet to receive any instructions from their chief Naveen Patnaik. Senior leader Pinaki Mishra is also not in the country.
Party leaders invited to the meeting included Arvind Kejriwal (AAP), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), K Chandrashekhar Rao (TRS), MK Stalin (DMK), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Hemant Soren (JMM), Akhilesh Yadav (SP). Huh. , D Raja (CPI), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Lalu Prasad (RJD), Jayant Choudhary (RLD), former prime ministers HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy (JD-S), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) , Sukhbir Singh Badal (SAD), Pawan Chamling (Sikkim Democratic Front) and KM Kader Mohideen (IUML).
Some parties including BSP and AIMIM were not invited.
A day before the meeting, Banerjee and Left party leaders met NCP chief Sharad Pawar separately at his residence and tried to persuade him to be the common opposition candidate for the top constitutional post.
With the numbers in its favor—the ruling NDA has nearly half the Electoral College votes—and with possible support from fence-sitters like the BJD, AIADMK and YSRCP, the NDA candidate will likely advance through the contest.