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11 August 2017, 08:17 | Cameron Gross
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of Opposition leaders on Friday morning
Hinting at more chinks in the armour of a joint opposition led by the Congress, Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday skipped a meeting of opposition parties called by Sonia Gandhi here to discuss unity and chalk out a strategy against the NDA government. However, no one from the party turned up to attend the meeting.
NCP leader Praful Patel said even when his party had issued a three-line whip to its MLAs to vote for the Congress, leaders of that party are accusing it of not supporting its candidate.
Besides top Congress leaders, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is also likely to attend the meeting along with other senior leaders like Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Sitaram Yechury, sources said.
NCP leader Praful Patel said his party made a decision to boycott the meeting as the Congress was accusing it of not supporting the Ahmed Patel when its legislators had cast their votes in his favour.
Apart from the Congress, Left parties, TMC, RJD, JD (U), NCP, JMM, DMK, NC, SP, BSP, RLD, JD-S, Kerala Congress, AIUDF besides some others are slated to participate in the meeting.
"We are not beholden to the Congress".
He also wondered why the NCP should run after the Congress, when the party led by Sonia Gandhi is one of the various opposition parties.
It was also chose to set constitute a small coordination committee to discuss future strategy against NDA government. Congress leaders are concerned that this may result in the NCP joining hands with the breakaway Congress, headed by Shankarsinh Vaghela, in the Gujarat Assembly polls. However, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the "agenda was to thank the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Opposition parties", reported ANI.
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