Key Oppn leaders set to attend virtual meeting called by Sonia Gandhi on Aug 20
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has called a virtual meeting of ‘like-minded’ opposition parties on August 20 and it is likely to be attended by several leaders, including chiefs of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Gandhi is said to have sent invites to the leaders in a bid to forge unity and a joint opposition strategy on pressing issues before the country.
The opposition parties are trying to put up a united face in its fight against the BJP and Narendra Modi government at the Centre over several issues, including the Pegasus snooping row and months-long farmers' protests along the borders of Delhi.
The Opposition unity was also witnessed during the recent monsoon session of Parliament where several leaders held meetings which were also attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Sources said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has received the invite and so has Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin and his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has also been invited to the meeting. Sena leader Sanjay Raut said Thackeray will attend the meeting. NCP MP Supriya Sule also confirmed Pawar’s attendance at the event.
The Congress is a part of the Sena-led ruling coalition in Maharashtra along with the NCP.
An aide of the TMC supremo said the ruling camp in Bengal has received the invite for the virtual meet to be hosted by Gandhi on August 20 and Banerjee is likely to attend the same.
Stalin, who piloted his DMK to a spectacular win in the April 6 assembly election in Tamil Nadu, is also likely to attend the virtual interaction with Sonia Gandhi.
A senior DMK leader said Stalin, president of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, would attend if invited. "We are expecting an official invite today. Probably, it will be received by his (chief minister's) office," he said.
The DMK chief has been following the footsteps of his late father M Karunanidhi in inviting Congress leaders to the southern state on various occasions and has always painted a picture of unity with them.
Even while organising protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, both the parties, who are allies, presented a show of strength in opposing the Modi government.
(With agency inputs)