West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee has called for an Opposition meeting in Delhi's Constitution club ahead of the upcoming Presidential elections. The meeting is currently underway and leaders of 16 political parties, including Congress, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), among others have arrived at the venue.
According to ANI, the leaders of other Opposition parties attending the ongoing meeting also include- CPI, CPI(M), CPIML, RSP, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), RLD, IUML and JMM.
AAP, TRS, AIMIM skip the meeting
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), YSRCP, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) have skipped the big meeting, which has been called to forge a consensus for fielding a joint candidate against the NDA in the Presidential election.
Issuing a statement, the TRS said, "There is no question of sharing any platform with the Congress." While YSRCP MP Vijayasai Reddy V denied receiving an invitation for the meeting.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi told ANI, "I was not invited. Even if I were invited, I would not have participated. The reason is Congress. The TMC party which speaks ill about us, even if they had invited us, we would not have gone just because they invited the Congress."
Mamata Banerjee meets Sharad Pawar
On Tuesday, Banerjee met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar at his residence in Mumbai separately to try and convince him to be the common opposition candidate for the top constitutional post. Pawar, however, has turned down the proposal, sources in the Opposition camp said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister is in the national capital for the meeting aimed to explore the possibility of formulating a common strategy with other opposition parties for the Presidential polls.