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Sonia to Host Lunch for Oppn Leaders Today, On Table is Presidential Poll

Top leaders of several opposition parties will go into a huddle on Friday at a luncheon hosted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi where deliberations on a consensus presidential candidate are likely to take place.

News18.com

Updated:May 26, 2017, 8:10 AM IST
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Sonia to Host Lunch for Oppn Leaders Today, On Table is Presidential Poll
File photo of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)

New Delhi: Top leaders of several opposition parties will go into a huddle on Friday at a luncheon hosted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi where deliberations on a consensus presidential candidate are likely to take place.

The lunch is scheduled to be hosted by Sonia Gandhi in the Parliament House library on a day that also marks the third anniversary of the Modi government at the Centre.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, however, will not be there because of a prior engagement, PTI said quoting sources, adding that his party would be represented by Sharad Yadav. The Congress has reportedly not invited Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

BSP chief Mayawati is scheduled to attend the lunch meeting, sources told CNN-News18.

The leaders would explore the possibility of fielding a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election. Sources said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja and JD(U) veteran Yadav would attend the lunch. Invitations had been sent to JD(U), CPI, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party, DMK, NCP, RJD and TMC, besides some other big and small regional parties.

The main opposition Congress is seeking greater unity among non-NDA parties ahead of the presidential election which could be taken forward to the upcoming assembly polls in states such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, besides the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Efforts are on to bring arch political rivals in Uttar Pradesh — the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party — together on a common opposition platform ahead of the presidential poll.

(With PTI Inputs)

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