The meeting of opposition parties that was slated for July 13 to 14 in Bengaluru has been shifted to July 17 to 18, according to an announcement by Congress leader KC Venugopal on Monday.
“After a hugely successful All-Opposition meeting in Patna, we will be holding the next meeting in Bengaluru on 17 and 18 July, 2023. We are steadfast in our unwavering resolve to defeat the fascist and undemocratic forces and present a bold vision to take the country forward,” he said on Twitter.
The clashes between the dates for the Bihar and Karnataka assembly’s Monsoon sessions and the meeting have been reported as the reason for the postponement.
The Monsoon session of the Bihar is slated for July 10 to 14 and for Karnataka from July 3 to 14. According to sources, Nitish Kumar’s party JD(U) asked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to postpone the meeting as he and Tejashwi Yadav would be busy in the assembly session.
Launching a scathing attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the recent political drama in Maharashtra, Venugopal said the development will not affect the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition.
“PM Modi made a big allegation recently against the NCP leaders for corruption and now we saw this drama. It is a clear sponsored game of ED and their agencies. It will not affect MVA,” Venugopal said.
“We will fight against BJP more aggressively. This is not going to affect opposition unity, this is NCP’s issue. Sharad Pawar is the tallest leader of the party and he will be able to handle the situation. Some leaders changing the party does not mean that the supporters of the party and other members will go with them,” he said.
Earlier JD(U) chief spokesperson KC Tyagi also told reporters that the Opposition meeting will not be held on the scheduled July 13-14 and though the date has not been decided yet it will be held soon.
On June 23 after the first Unity meeting was conducted in Patna, Bihar, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had reportedly announced the next meeting to be held in Shimla on July 10 and 12.
On June 29, Sharad Pawar announced at a press conference in Pune that the next meeting of Opposition leaders has been shifted from Shimla to Bengaluru owing to the prevailing weather conditions in Himachal Pradesh.
In the inaugural meeting earlier in Patna, top Opposition leaders, including Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal United (JDU) chief Nitish Kumar, Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, among others, had resolved to put up a united fight against the BJP government at the Centre in next year’s Lok Sabha election.
It is to be noted that, apart from the rift between the Congress and Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party keeps growing, as the Congress refuses to support AAP in the Delhi ordinance matter.
Kejriwal seems to have prioritised the Delhi ordinance issue over opposition unity as the AAP had said that it wouldn’t attend the Patna opposition meeting if parties didn’t show support on the matter.
Meanwhile, Congress has refused to show support to AAP on the issue. Ajay Maken also criticised Kejriwal for slamming Congress leaders such as Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot and then demanding support from the Congress.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra saw a political upheaval after NCP leader Ajit Pawar joined the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance and took oath as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister on Sunday in a surprise and dramatic political move that changed political equations in the state ahead of Lok Sabha and assembly polls next year and has ramifications for national politics.