‘Perfect opportunity’: Mamata calls opposition meet ahead of Presidential poll | Latest News India

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee convened a meeting of 22 opposition parties, including the Congress, in New Delhi on Saturday, June 15, to decide on a cohesive strategy and candidate for next month’s presidential election.

The Election Commission on Thursday announced that the presidential election will be held on July 18, six days before the expiration of President Ramanath Kovind’s term. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a few thousand votes but the support of any regional party is enough to win. The vote will take place on July 21.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday nominated Rajya Sabha opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge as a nodal figure to consult with opposition leaders to find a consensus candidate to face the ruling alliance. On Thursday and Friday, Khargay called on Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and several other smaller parties. Surveys.

On Saturday, Trinamool Congress seniors sent letters to 22 non-BJP leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and eight non-BJP chief ministers. “Presidential elections are around the corner, presenting the perfect opportunity for all progressive opposition parties to reorganize and deliberate on the path to the future of Indian politics,” he wrote.

“In the same vein, I urge you to meet us at the Constitution Club, New Delhi at 3 pm on June 15,” the letter said.

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The list includes Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Thiru MK Stalin and Uddhav Thackeray. Ministers of Maharashtra, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann were among others.

“The election is a monument because it gives lawmakers the opportunity to participate in deciding the heads of state who are the custodian of our democracy. At a time when our democracy is going through trouble, I believe that the fruitful confluence of the voices of the opposition needs time; To echo deprived and underrepresented communities, ”he wrote in the letter.

One of the congress leaders who welcomed the initiative said it was imperative to install a federal opposition candidate who was aware of developments and that there were indications that he would become a non-Congress candidate. “There are no names at present. We need to find a strong political candidate. Let the name evolve organically at the June 15 meeting, ”the leader said.

Kharghe is expected to meet with opposition leaders next week, he said. However, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has begun discussions with regional party leaders for an opposition candidate. However, it is not clear whether they will endorse a candidate approved by the Congress, the main opposition party in Telangana.

Samik Bhattacharya, BJP spokesman for Bengal, said, “Such letters have no political significance. These are like students who have been vigilant all the time on the previous day of the exam and scoring. There have been similar attempts in the past but none have come to fruition. You’ll find another leader tomorrow sending letters to 44 leaders.

But this is not the first time the TMC chief has sent such a letter to non-BJP leaders. In March this year, he wrote to non-BJP chief ministers and opposition parties alleging that the BJP was using central institutions to harass political opponents. In April 2021, he urged the non-BJP parties to unite against the BJP and its government.

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