New Delhi: Preparing the pitch for a 'Mahagatbandhan' (Grand Alliance) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, opposition parties will meet here on December 10, a day before Parliament opens its Winter Session and the results of Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Mizoram are declared. The elections are being dubbed as the semi-final to the general elections next year.
The driving force behind the gathering is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who has been making efforts to put together an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front after walking out of the Narendra Modi government.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Union Minister Sharad Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and leaders of other opposition parties are likely to attend the meeting to be held at Constitution Club in the heart of Delhi.
The meeting will focus on the form and structure of the proposed opposition alliance and a course of action to take forward the initiative.
A plan of action is likely to be drafted to fight the Modi government over its alleged anti-people policies, such as misuse of institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, Central Bureau of Investigation, Central Vigilance Commission and the Income Tax department to settle scores with political rivals, an opposition leader said.
He said the meeting would also discuss on the sidelines how to corner the government in Parliament on issues related to farmers, demonetisation and the controversial Rafale deal.
TDP chief Naidu has met Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party's Sharad Pawar, DMK's M.K. Stalin, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Farooq Abdullah, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular chief H.D. Deve Gowda and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati.
Last week, opposition leaders, including the Left parties, gathered here at a farmers’ rally. The Congress President and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shared the stage together and accused the Modi government of plunging the country into an acute agrarian crisis.