Having discussed the idea of a national pre-poll alliance with a common minimum programme for Lok Sabha polls, leaders of opposition parties will meet again on February 26 to firm up finer details of the common agenda. A sub-group of leaders could be formed for drafting the common minimum programme as early as possible.
The first meeting on February 13 was attended by only six parties and sources said attempts are on to rope in more parties, particularly the SP and BSP. Showing no interest for a tie-up with the Congress, the SP and the BSP Thursday announced a seat-sharing pact under which the SP will contest in 37 seats and BSP in 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
After the last meeting, which was attended by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, the leaders had said Gandhi has been entrusted with the task of drafting the common minimum programme.
Sources said the February 26 meeting will discuss finer details and the parties will give suggestions. They said the Pulwama attack and its political fallout will also be on the discussion table.
The Congress Working Committee is scheduled to meet on February 28 during which the top leadership will brainstorm on a pre-poll alliance plan.