‘Meeting of minds a distant dream’: Opposition unity ebbs ahead of presidential election
The initial enthusiasm of opposition party leaders about putting up a spirited fight against the BJP nominee for next month’s presidential elections seems to be petering out, as regional satraps have been pulled back into the vortex of intra- and inner-party feuds.
The presidential election will be held on July 17 and the counting will take place on July 20 before the tenure of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.
“After the electoral steamrolling at the hands of the BJP in repeated elections, the opposition leaders have understood that they need to unite for their own political survival. But a real meeting of minds remains a distant dream,” a senior opposition leader admitted.
Within Uttar Pradesh’s Samajwadi Party (SP), disquiet and resentment prevail over the continued isolation of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. The senior Yadav neither travelled down to Chennai at the conclave of opposition leaders on DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday nor was he invited to the all-party meeting convened recently by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle Shivpal has revived plans to float a parallel “Samajwadi Manch” (Socialist Forum) in August while coming out once again in open criticism of his nephew for not honouring his commitment to restore Mulayam’s position as the party chief.
Following the raids by the income tax department on Lalu Prasad and his family members, relations between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar have taken a turn for the worse.
Kumar did not attend the lunch hosted for the two leaders last month by the Congress chief. Prasad hit back by staying away from the Chennai rally, while Kumar was present.
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- The Speaker had initiated proceedings under anti-defection laws to decide if the merger of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) led by Babulal Marandi into the BJP in February, 2020, was valid.
- “There is no chance of her joining. She is not in the AIADMK party,” Palaniswami told reporters.
- The party leadership had reportedly told three senior leaders (Chandy, Chennithala and Ramachandran) who were summoned to Delhi two days ago that winning the election was top priority and to give more importance to the party than factions.
- Against the backdrop of China’s assertive actions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, India has stepped up cooperation with its partners to oppose unilateral actions and protect the freedom of navigation and overflight across the Indo-Pacific.
- Newly-formed Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) of journalist-turned-politician and Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan and three Left parties, CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML, will also be part of this pre-poll tie up.
- Bhutan, the Maldives and Bangladesh will be among the first countries in the neighbourhood to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India as grant assistance.
- The accused assaulted the girl late Monday night when she had gone to the family’s agricultural field to switch off a water pump.
- Sajjad Lone's Peoples' Conference decided to exit the Gupkar Alliance over the fielding of proxy candidates by constituent parties against the officially mandated candidates of the alliance during DDC elections