Congress president Sonia Gandhi will hold discussions with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati within 10 days to discuss a strategy for fielding a common opposition candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, party sources said Wednesday.
A senior party functionary said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also spoke to former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav in this regard.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and CPI’s D Raja have already met the Congress president and stressed on the need to have a common opposition candidate to defeat the NDA nominee in the presidential election.
On Monday, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury described the Presidential election as an “acid test” for Opposition unity and stressed on the need for non-NDA parties to ensure the victory of a candidate who can uphold the Indian Constitution in letter and spirit.
Yechury’s call found several takers, as leaders of several parties pitched for a common candidate at a conclave of Opposition parties convened on Monday to mark the 95th birth anniversary of late socialist leader Madhu Limaye.