The opposition tried to avert the crisis of the presidential election

Rashtrapati bhawan
Rashtrapati bhawan

Opposition firefighters have begun hectic discussions to avert a potential crisis that could jeopardize efforts to agree on a common candidate for the upcoming presidential election, people familiar with the matter said at the time of key meetings on Sunday. Referring to the conflict, I said. Provisionally planned for next week.

The Congress, the Left and some other parties were planning to hold an opposition meeting on June 15 to discuss the Presidential candidate and while these backchannel talks were on, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee invited 22 leaders including the Congress President. Sent. Sonia Gandhi and eight chief ministers, who are not from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will meet on the same issue in Delhi on the same day.

Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress’s chief negotiator for the presidential election, spoke to several parties including the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to find a solution. A senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said, “We have also contacted Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to discuss the situation.”

One option, this person added, is to postpone the meeting as Sonia Gandhi is in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

People said the letter that the plan conflicted with the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) meeting was unexpected. Another leader familiar with the matter said that if the opposition parties go ahead and hold a meeting on June 15 as planned earlier, it will now appear that Banerjee’s proposed meeting has taken place.

The person said that if the Left faction and some opposition parties like Congress decline Banerjee’s invitation, then other opposition parties such as AAP, TRS and SP can accept the Bengal Chief Minister’s offer, leading to the camp at the earliest. There may be division. Phase – just before voting.

The presidential election will be held on July 21.

“Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and I were involved in the scheme for the past one month. The letter from the West Bengal CM has created a crisis,” said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

A senior Congress strategist agreed with the assessment, saying that “some leaders have created a first-rate crisis. Kharge is trying to do damage control.”

In her letter, Banerjee said: “Presidential elections are near, presenting the perfect opportunity for all progressive opposition parties to rethink and deliberate on the future course of Indian politics.”

A party functionary close to Banerjee said: “Didi has already held preliminary talks with some opposition leaders before writing the letter.”

The main effort of the backchannel talks in the opposition camp, the first person cited above said, was to persuade Banerjee to drop his view in favor of a larger meeting – an act he admits would be easier said than done.

While a section of Congress sees Banerjee’s move as an attempt to grab the leadership role, another senior leader of the opposition, who asked for anonymity, denied the characterization and said: “Calling a meeting is his is in the right. Congress and other parties cannot let their arrogance dominate the opposition unity.

Another leader of a non-Congress opposition party, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the leadership issue could get serious in the absence of a Congress leader. “If Sonia Gandhi is not able to attend, Banerjee, a seven-time MP and three-time chief minister, is entitled to preside over it,” the man said.

In her letter, Banerjee said, “The election is monumental as it gives an opportunity to legislators to participate in deciding the head of state, who is the custodian of our democracy. At a time when our democracy is going through a crisis, I believe a useful confluence of opposition voices is the need of the hour; To resonate the underprivileged and underrepresented communities. ,

Hours after the letter went public, the Congress said: “The time has come to rise above our differences for the sake of our nation and its people. Deliberations and deliberations should be with an open mind and with this spirit in mind. We believe that Congress should take this discussion forward with other political parties.