NEW DELHI: Though the agenda at the Opposition meeting convened by Mamata Banerjee was to find a consensus candidate for the presidential election, the meeting witnessed much din over a resolution that Mamata was accused of foisting on the parties without notice.
The Bengal Chief Minister told reporters later that the opposition needed to sit together to discuss "the bulldozing taking place in the country."
Mamata had invited 22 parties but 16 attended the meeting. Curiously, while Mamata’s arch rivals in the State – the Congress and the Left -- attended the meeting, leaders like Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao - who had earlier joined hands with the Bengal CM over their common goal to unseat the BJP -- decided to boycott it.
The Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also opted out, protesting against the Congress' presence. AAP said it will "consider the matter only after the Presidential candidate is declared".
The TRS said there was "no question of sharing any platform with the Congress." The party said the Congress had been invited despite its objections and lashed out at its leader Rahul Gandhi. It also accused the Congress of "ganging up with the BJP" in Telangana, especially in the recent bypolls.