Nitish Kumar to skip Sonia Gandhi’s Opposition meeting, Sharad Yadav to attendhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/nitish-kumar-to-not-attend-sonia-gandhis-meeting-sharad-yadav-in-4672708/

Nitish Kumar to skip Sonia Gandhi’s Opposition meeting, Sharad Yadav to attend

Will the Opposition unite in finding a candidate for the election to Rashtrapati Bhavan?

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI Photo

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not be participating in the Opposition parties Friday luncheon organised by Congress president Sonia Gandhi where they will be exploring the possibility of fielding a joint candidate for the presidential election, news agency ANI reports. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also a likely a contender for the post, however, will be in attendance.

The meeting is likely to be held in the Parliament House complex. Other leaders attending the meeting include West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, and RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Sources said invitations have been sent to JD(U), CPI, CPI-M, SP, DMK, NCP, RJD and TMC besides regional parties.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, however, is missing from the list of invitees.

The main opposition Congress is seeking a larger unity among non-NDA parties ahead of the presidential election which could be taken forward to the upcoming assembly polls in states like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, besides the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Ahead of Friday’s meeting, a series of parleys have already happened between these leaders on the issue of putting up a joint opposition candidate to take on the official NDA nominee.

Efforts are on to bring arch political rivals in Uttar Pradesh — Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party —  together on a common opposition platform ahead of the presidential poll.

(with inputs from PTI)