New Delhi: Top leaders of 19 parties met for a virtual session chaired by Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi on Friday as the Opposition aims to form a common strategy against the BJP-led government at the Centre ahead of important state elections in 2022 and the general elections in 2024.
Four chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), MK Stalin (Tamil Nadu), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra) and Hemant Soren (Jharkhand), NCP leader Sharad Pawar, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, LJD’s Sharad Yadav and CPM’s Sitaram Yechury attended the session.
However, parties like Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party were conspicuous by their absence.
Sonia spelt out that the ultimate goal is the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. “We have to begin planning systematically with the objective of giving to our country a government that believes in the values of the Freedom Movement and in the principles and provisions of our Constitution,” Sonia Gandhi said.
“In spite of this, the session was marked by the determined unity that all Opposition parties demonstrated for over 20 days in both the houses. We functioned in a coordinated manner with daily discussions among our floor leaders.
“I am confident that this unity will be sustained in the future sessions of Parliament as well, but the larger political battle has to be fought outside it,” Sonia hoped.
The 19 parties stated via a joint statement after the meeting, that they will jointly organise protests all over the country from September 20 to 30.