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Congress-led meeting on demonetisation begins; Mamata Banerjee attends, key opposition parties give a miss

New Delhi: The Opposition appears to be divided over what it calls Congress party’s initiative to forge a powerful alliance of like-minded parties against the Centre’s demonetisation move and allegations of corruption against PM Narendra Modi.

According to reports, many political parties including JD(U), SP, BSP, CPI (M) and NCP have decided to stay away from the joint press conference, which will be addressed by the Congress party at the Constitution Club here.

Key “secular” players have decided to skip today’s meeting, which they see as a solely Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s initiative. Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is attending the demonetisation meet. 

Delhi: WB CM Mamata Banerjee arrives at Constitution Club for opposition meet

— ANI (@ANI_news) December 27, 2016

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad this morning made an appeal to all opposition parties to attend today’s presser on the issue. The joint press conference is likely to be held by Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and top leaders of opposition parties. 

Despite the setback, Congress is striving for Opposition unity on the issue of Sahara-Birla papers after their leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “personal corruption”.

Reacting to the development, BSP chief Mayawati said, “We are staying away from today’s opposition meet on demonetization because there are differences of opinion. Why should BSP attend the meet. We had been the first to raise the issue and had opposed it.”

Corroborating the same, JD (U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said, “We have decided to stay away from the press conference of opposition parties because there has been no proper consultation and coordination among the parties.”

“In the future if someone raises the issue with proper coordination then we have no hesitation to join the meet,” Tyagi added.

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury had said, “Several opposition parties have reservation about the way the meeting has been convened. We were not consulted about the agenda of the meeting.”

Senior NCP leader DP Tripathi said that although the “Opposition is united over the wrong implementation” of the November 8 demonetisation, his party won’t be going to the presser.”

“Many parties are not coming, so we are not coming too,” Tripathi said.

The Samajwadi Party, too, is undecided on the issue. 

“We have not decided… at least, I am not going. You may contact neta ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) for more details,” SP leader Naresh Agrawal had said.

However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had emerged as the saving grace for Congress’s meeting, which is likely to attend the joint press conference on demonetisation today.

TMC leader Sukehndu Shekhar Roy said yesterday that his party is “most likely” to participate. 

Invitations for the presser were sent to major Opposition parties by the Congress, barring Odisha’s ruling BJD, Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.

Several Opposition parties were left red-faced after a Congress delegation led by Rahul went to meet PM Modi on December 16 on the issue of farm loans without even informing them.

Also, some media reports said that the growing closeness between TMC and the Congress has upset the Left. 

(With Agency inputs)

Source: Zee News