AAP likely to join Opposition meet tomorrow on 2019 Lok Sabha elections strategy
Along with Chandrababu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also involved in efforts to resolve differences between the Congress and its rivals to ensure that a broad-based alliance is firmed up to take on the BJP in the 2019 elections.Updated: Dec 09, 2018 07:31 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to join the Congress and other opposition parties in the December 10 meeting called by Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N Chandrababu Naidu to forge a common strategy to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior leader Sanjay Singh are expected to attend the meeting, an AAP leader familiar with the development said.
It will be the first time that AAP will attend such a formal meeting of opposition parties, although its leaders have participated in protests such as the Bharat Bandh (nationwide strike) called by Congress on September 10 against rising fuel prices.
Kejriwal and Congress president Rahul Gandhi also shared the stage for the first time during a protest by farmers’ organizations at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on November 30 to demand better prices for agricultural produce..
Along with Naidu, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is also involved in efforts to resolve differences between the Congress and its rival political parties to ensure that a broad-based alliance is firmed up to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 elections.
A strong votary of state-specific tie-ups, Pawar has often talked about the difficulties in forming a grand alliance of opposition parties given the differences between the Congress and regional parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana and AAP in Delhi.
All senior opposition leaders, including Pawar, Naidu and Gandhi, have so far ruled out announcing a common Prime Ministerial candidate. The Congress president had even termed the issue divisive.
No confirmation is available yet about the participation of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati or any of her party colleagues in the meeting.
There are apprehensions in the opposition camp that the government may use its investigating agencies to threaten and prevent some parties from joining the anti-BJP front.
Congress leaders called on United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who is also expected to attend the December 10 meeting, on Saturday to wish her on the eve of her birthday. Gandhi turns 72 on Sunday. The possible outcome of the assembly elections in five states and the Congress party’s performance on the ground came up for discussion at the informal talks.
On Monday, the BJP’s parliamentary party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents will also meet to discuss issues before the government in the winter session of Parliament, beginning on December 11. On Sunday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin will meet the UPA chairperson.
First Published: Dec 09, 2018 07:24 IST