Push For Opposition Unity At Stalin’s Big Birthday Bash

The occasion is the 70th birthday of Chief Minister MK Stalin.

New Delhi:

The next big opposition show of unity will be on March 1 – sponsored by Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK. The occasion is the 70th birthday of Chief Minister MK Stalin and the DMK is planning a huge public meeting in Chennai. But while the occasion will have most opposition leaders on one stage, the rifts will be also there in plain sight owing to the absentees.

Sources said Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has not been invited. The Trinamool Congress chief is has been keeping a low-profile since the election for the President’s post and lending only issue-based support to Opposition front even inside Parliament.

Sources also said Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal have not been invited out of “mutual understanding”. The Congress will be present for the function, represented by Mallikarjun Kharge and this is not acceptable to either leader.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will skip event as his birthday falls on same day and Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar, a Congress ally in Maharashtra, has cited poor health.

Among the others who will attend are Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, CPI and the CPM, and Omar Abdullah’s National Conference

Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and Farooq Abdullah will be there at the meet.

With just a year to go before the national elections, the last big show of opposition unity took place last month, when Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao took the first step towards building a non-Congress Opposition Front with the maiden meet of his party since it went national.

The Bharat Rashtra Samiti’s meet in Hyderabad’s Khammam town was attended by Aam Admi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Kerala Chief Minister, CPM’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and CPI’s D Raja.

Most of the attending parties had skipped the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

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