Opposition call on simultaneous poll meet likely today

A meeting of Opposition leaders chaired by Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday evening was inconclusive as many couldn’t attend, though DMK's Kanimozhi and CPI’s D Raja were present.

Published: 19th June 2019 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2019 11:10 AM   |  A+A-

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with CPI's D Raja and other leaders arrives for a meeting to decide their strategy in Parliament in New Delhi on 18 June 2019. (Photo | PTI)

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with CPI's D Raja and other leaders arrives for a meeting to decide their strategy in Parliament in New Delhi on 18 June 2019. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A meeting of Opposition leaders chaired by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday evening to formulate a joint strategy on the Modi government’s proposal to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections, ended inconclusively.

The meeting came on the eve of the one Prime Minister Narendra Modi has convened of leaders of all parties represented in Parliament, to discuss the ‘one nation, one election’ concept.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced her no-show and asked the Centre to prepare a white paper on simultaneous polls instead, advising it not to steamroll the concept in a hurry. Mamata’s Trinamool Congress is the fourth largest party in the Lok Sabha with 22 members, so her position carries weight.

Sources said Tuesday’s meeting was inconclusive as many opposition parties couldn’t attend, though DMK leaders Kanimozhi and T R Baalu, CPI’s D Raja and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah were present. A decision on the joint strategy — including whether or not to attend the meeting called by Modi — could be taken by Wednesday morning, sources indicated.

They also said since the Congress is the biggest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, it had to take the initiative to provide a strong counter on the floor of the House.

Tuesday’s meeting also discussed was the election of a new Lok Sabha Speaker and decided not to oppose the NDA’s choice — Rajasthan lawmaker Om Birla, who is from the BJP.

Earlier in the day, the Congress held its parliamentary party’s strategy meeting, which was attended by Sonia, party president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. In August last, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections.

Adhir Ranjan named Cong leader in LS
Five-time MP from Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was appointed the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and Kerala’s K Suresh named the chief whip. The party wrote to the Lok Sabha secretariat communicating the appointment.

Wednesday’s agenda
Apart from simultaneous polls, Wednesday’s meeting convened by Modi will discuss the celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp