Stage set for Opposition parties meeting, BJP remains unaffected

New Delhi/Kolkata: As the Opposition parties are all set to hold a crucial meeting on the eve of Parliament’s Winter Session and counting of votes for Assembly elections in five states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed to remain unaffected.

The BJP has maintained confidence by saying that despite the Opposition meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again going to retain the post with a clear majority in the upcoming 2019 General Elections.

Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, “No matter how much the Opposition unites and makes Mahagathbandhan but the fact will remain intact that in 2019, Narendra Modi Ji is going to retain the post of Prime Minister again with a clear majority. The BJP will regain power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan with their own strength.”

Echoing the similar sentiments, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that it would be great if the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) also announces their Prime Minister candidate for the 2019 General Elections. He said, “It’s good that they are trying hard for Mahagathbandhan. It will be better if they decide that who will be the next Prime Minister from this grand alliance.”

Today’s meeting in Delhi has been called by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, aimed at bringing all Opposition parties under a single umbrella to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Chandrababu Naidu has recently ended his decades-long rivalry with the Congress.

Ahead of the decisive meeting of the Opposition parties with an aim to build an anti-BJP front, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and Tamil Nadu leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, yesterday met and wished United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on her 72nd birthday. Stalin also discussed a range of issues including poll strategies for 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Mekadatu project of Congress-JD(S)-ruled Karnataka government, which is drawing flak from Tamil Nadu.

Last month, the farmers’ protest in the national capital brought Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the same stage for the very first time.

Chandrababu Naidu has already met a string of opposition leaders including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal over the last few weeks.

Opposition leaders like West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief (TMC) Mamata Banerjee, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, DMK’s MK Stalin, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and others are likely to attend the meeting.