With an eye on the forthcoming Presidential polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has convened a meeting of the leaders of all opposition parties and chief ministers of the opposition ruled states, in New Delhi on June 15. The meeting will be held at the Constitutional Club.
She has forwarded a letter to 22 leaders which include the chief ministers of different opposition-ruled states. The recipients of the letter include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, among others.
Even her arch political rivals, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have also been invited to attend the meeting.
"The Presidential elections are around the corner, presenting the perfect opportunity for all progressive opposition parties to reconvene and deliberate on the future course of Indian politics. The election is monumental because it gives legislators the opportunity to participate in deciding the Head of our state who is the custodian of democracy. At a time when our democracy is going through troubling times, I believe that a fruitful confluence of opposition voices is the need of the hour, to echo the deprived and unprecedented communities," the letter read.
The fact that Mamata Banerjee will go all out in leading the charge to forge opposition unity on the issue of presidential polls was made clear by her in March this year. Soon after BJP clinched victory in the assembly polls in four out of five states including Uttar Pradesh, Mamata Banerjee said on the floor of the assembly that the game is not over yet since BJP will not be able to get its candidate elected in the presidential polls without support from other parties.
West Bengal BJP spokesman, Shamik Bhattacharya said that the Chief Minister should first try to control the law & order situation in the state ruled by her before concentrating on the national issues like Presidential polls. "The state government has miserably failed to check violence in the state for the last two days and the Chief Minister is reluctant about that," he said.