While its leaders attended the meeting of opposition parties convened by Sharad Pawar on the opening day of Budget Session, the Congress is learnt to have told the NCP supremo that Sonia Gandhi is still the UPA chairperson, and that she will call a meeting of the Opposition in the next few days to coordinate efforts to take on the government.
Some opposition veterans are seen as being uneasy in dealing with a much younger Rahul Gandhi ever since Sonia Gandhi, who used to coordinate Opposition moves earlier, has receded from the forefront.
The Congress was represented by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior leader Anand Sharma. CPI(M)’s T K Rangarajan, CPI’s D Raja, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and breakaway JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav also attended.
The Trinamool Congress claimed it was not invited. “What meeting? I am not aware,” a senior TMC MP said when asked why the party stayed away.
Azad is learnt to have said in the meeting that Sonia remains the chairperson of UPA, as also the Congress Parliamentary Party, and that there should not be any confusion on that. It was conveyed that Sonia will convene a meeting in the next few days, and that Azad will talk to other parties to decide on the date and time of the meeting. “The formal meeting will be the one which will be chaired by Sonia Gandhi,” a senior Congress leader told The Indian Express.