Opposition meetings in Chennai tomorrow, Lalu to be absent
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad will be unable to travel down to Chennai on account of poor health, party spokesman Manoj Jha said.india Updated: Jun 02, 2017 21:26 IST
At two back-to-back meetings beginning with a conclave at Chennai on Saturday, leaders of non-NDA parties will attempt to thrash out a consensus on a common candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections in July.
Participants at the Chennai conclave – organised on the occasion of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday – will include National Conference leader Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda, Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar and Derek O’Brian of the Trinamool Congress – besides senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad will be unable to travel down to Chennai on account of poor health, party spokesman Manoj Jha said.
The following day, a similar congregation will happen at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, where CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and D Raja of the CPI will share the platform with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, senior JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav and DMK leader Elangovan will be among the other prominent participants at the Guntur meeting - being organised to demand a Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
Being organised in the backdrop of successive electoral defeats at the hands of a recharged BJP, the two meetings of the Opposition leaders are being seen as a last ditch efforts among regional satraps to sink differences in the run up to the general elections of 2019.
Emerging signs of a reconfiguration of political forces have been evident in past weeks, with traditional rivals such as the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh and the Trinamool Congress and the Left parties in West Bengal having indicated that they were willing to come on the same page on issues of common concern.