NEW DELHI: Before brewing up an opposition strategy for the upcoming Presidential election scheduled on July 18, Trinamool Congress supremo met NCP chief Sharad Pawar today evening.
The meeting added extra flavour as it came a day before Banerjee’s call on for a crucial all-opposition party meeting tomorrow at the constitution club. The meeting lasted for half an hour at Pawar’s residence where NCP leader Praful Patel was also present.
Although the exact details of the conversation were not known, later AITC’s official handle tweeted, “Two stalwart leaders set the stage for the meeting of all progressive opposition forces; set to happen tomorrow at the Constitution Club, New Delhi. Our resolve to fight divisive forces grows stronger!”
Pawar also tweeted, “Ms Mamata Banerjee called upon me at my residence in Delhi today. We had a detailed discussion on various issues related to our country.”
On June 14 CPI leader D Raja and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury met Pawar to discuss the Presidential candidate and poll.
Sources reveal that Pawar himself does not want to be the opposition face for the Presidential poll and has declined the proposal already, though an official confirmation is yet to arrive.
However, as per the source, there are a few other contenders from the opposition whose names are in consideration for the presidential poll.
“There might be a possibility of forming an eight-member committee which will finalise the opposition face,” stated the source.
The New Indian has learned that the CPM, at first, did not confirm their participation in the all-opposition meeting called by West Bengal CM.
However, the left party later confirmed their participation. A reply was sent to Banerjee stating “as the issue is to discuss the forthcoming election of the President of India and given the fact that the President is the custodian of the Indian Constitution, the CPI(M) will be represented at the meeting by the leader of our group in the Rajya Sabha, Elamaram Kareem”.
It is to be noted that Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early April when ED slapped a money-laundering investigation against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s wife and two of his associates. Sources, then, revealed that NCP shares an amicable relationship with BJP unlike Shiv Sena that ‘soured’.
Last year in July PMO’s Twitter handle released a photo of Pawar meeting PM. It was said that the meeting lasted for an hour.
It’s been decided that senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala will represent the Congress.
Banerjee all together invited 27 opposition CMs and leaders to tomorrow’s crucial meeting which is scheduled to commence at 3 pm.
Another meeting for the presidential poll is scheduled on June 20-21 where the opposition will announce their Presidential candidate officially.