Sonia Gandhi to host dinner: 17 Opposition parties to attend
Sonia Gandhi to host dinner: 17 Opposition parties to attend

Sonia calls meeting of opposition parties on May 24

Agency News

New Delhi, May 19: As part of efforts to forge an anti-BJP secular front in the country to prevent the saffron party from coming to power, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of various opposition parties on May 24.

Sources in the Congress party said that the meeting, which was earlier scheduled on May 23, will now be held on May 24 as Thursday would be a hectic say for all opposition parties due to the counting of votes on that day. The meeting, for which leaders of various opposition parties like the TDP, the Nationalist congress party, the left parties and the RJD have been invited, will discuss the political situation in the country after the results of the Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting is likely to discuss the possibility of stitching a grand alliance, if the BJP-led NDA falls short of majority on May 23, when results will be declared. The meeting is being seen as part of efforts by various opposition parties to forge a non BJP front to prevent the saffron party from coming to power.

In fact, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu has been engaged in efforts over the past few days to form a non-BJP alliance to form the government, in case the NDA does not get majority after the final results are declared on May 23.

In this regard, Naidu on Sunday met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Naidu met Ms Gandhi at her residence this evening, sources said. Mr Naidu earlier on Sunday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi, NCP supremo Sharad Yadav and CPI (M) general Secretary Sitaram Yechury, for the second time. Earlier, Mr Naidu had met Mr Gandhi, Mr Pawar and Mr Yechury, before proceeding to Lucknow, to meet BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav.

On Saturday, the AP Chief Minister met both former UP Chief Ministers for more than an hour, and it is learnt that he invited them for a meeting, which will be held in the National Capital. He had also met Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and CPI leaders S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja on Friday.

After meeting Mr Naidu, according to sources, the Congress president held a meeting with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior colleagues in the party at Ms Gandhi's official residence. Mr Naidu had visited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a couple of times, during the election campaign. UNI