After stitching together a unified Opposition in Parliament’s winter session, the Congress is trying to rope in other parties for a show of strength on Tuesday.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi plans a joint press conference to launch another round of attack against the government. She has sent invitations to almost all opposition parties barring the BJD, AIADMK and AIMIM.
“We have invited parties like JD(U), RJD, JD(S), NCP, Trinamool, DMK, BSP, SP and the Left. We are expecting a packed house,” Congress’ strategist Jairam Ramesh told HT.
While West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is coming to Delhi on Monday to be personally present in the presser, her arch rival, the CPI(M), is yet to make up its mind.
The meeting of the party leaders, followed by a press conference, assumes significance as this will be the first such event after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hurled corruption charges at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a political rally in Modi’s home state Gujarat, Gandhi alleged that the PM was paid money by top corporate houses.
But the Congress is unsure if the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party will turn up at the event. With UP elections due in less than two months, both these parties may calibrate their positions before cosying up with their rival in Delhi.
The meeting is planned at New Delhi’s Constitution Club on December 27, for which the Congress president’s trusted lieutenants Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad have also called up leaders to extend an invitation.
“We are yet to take a call,” CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat told HT on Sunday, when asked whether her party was going to attend the meeting.
Sources in the CPI(M) said while it was fine with any joint protest inside Parliament, the party leadership has to decide if they want to extend the cooperation outside as well.
Almost all opposition parties, however, have backed Rahul’s demand and asked Modi to clarify on these charges.