Opposition parties to meet Friday

BJP chief Amit Shah Union minister Smriti Irani defector Balwantsinh Rajput and Congress leader Ahmed Patel are in the fray the last two will face off against each other. Voting is scheduled to begin at 9

BJP chief Amit Shah Union minister Smriti Irani defector Balwantsinh Rajput and Congress leader Ahmed Patel are in the fray the last two will face off against each other. Voting is scheduled to begin at 9

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to hold a meeting of leaders of various opposition parties on Friday, the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament.

NCP is upset at the Congress accusing it of not supporting Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.

"You are talking of two parties and not talking about the 16 parties who attended the meeting", he said. Suggesting that the opposition parties have to build an "alternative narrative" to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP, Yechury said, "this could be done through effective strategy and by taking up pro-people issues such as agrarian crisis".

"We are not beholden to the Congress". Sonia Gandhi has been authorised by those present at Friday's meeting to form a small group of leaders who will coordinate between all the "like minded" parties that have got together.

It was also chose to set constitute a small coordination committee to discuss future strategy against NDA government. We are not in alliance with the Congress anywhere, still we supported them in Gujarat, but their spokesperson in Gujarat kept blaming us.

Though the NCP had claimed to have voted in favour of the Congress candidate in Gujarat, the party feels it has reasons to be sceptic since the lone lawmaker of JDU in Gujarat also made the same claim and the number that went in favour of Ahmed Patel does not accommodate both.

The meeting thanked opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar and vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi for accepting their request to contest despite knowing that the result was likely to be unfavourable.

Asked whether the Sharad Pawar party will be part of the opposition unity, he said the issue will be decided "when time comes".

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Azad said the parties had raised issues in Parliament in a coordinated manner and floor management has improved.

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