Updated: June 15, 2022 7:51:33 am
Consultations among various Opposition leaders to decide on putting up a joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections against the NDA nominee gathered pace Tuesday, even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar has made it clear that he was not inclined to contest.
Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja met Pawar, who arrived in New Delhi to attend a meeting West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has convened Wednesday to discuss the Opposition’s strategy in the upcoming presidential elections.
Pawar told the Left leaders that he will attend Wednesday’s meeting as unity of secular, democratic parties and forces was important considering the political situation in the country.
“He told us that he is not keen to contest. He will say that openly in tomorrow’s meeting. We have to explore the possibilities of other candidates,” Raja told indianexpress.com. The Left parties and also the Congress will attend the meeting, sources said.
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Mamata Banerjee, who arrived in the capital ahead of Wednesday’s joint conference, met Pawar at his residence. NCP Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel was also present at the meeting.
The DMK has deputed its Lok Sabha leader TR Baalu to attend the meeting. The Left leaders are expected to meet Baalu later in the day.
Sources in the Congress said Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Surjewala are likely to attend the meeting on behalf of the party.
Both the Congress and the Left are not impressed with Banerjee’s “unilateral” initiative of convening the meeting, but sources in these parties Monday said that they will still attend the meeting to avoid sending out a signal of division in the Opposition camp.
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