West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is unlikely to participate in the opposition meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar on June 21 on the upcoming Presidential poll due to prior engagements, a TMC functionary said on Sunday. A senior TMC leader will be present at the proposed meeting, he said.
“Mamata Banerjee will not be able to attend the meeting as she has some prior engagements. She has also conveyed it to Sharad Pawar ji. But a leader from our party will be present there," a senior TMC functionary said.
During the first such meeting called by Banerjee in Delhi on June 15 to formulate a strategy for the upcoming Presidential poll, it has been decided that a common candidate, who will “uphold the democratic ethos of the country", will be chosen as the opposition nominee.
As many as 17 parties attended the meeting. Leaders of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, NCP, DMK, RJD and the Left parties attended the over two-hour-long meeting called by the Trinamool Congress supremo, while the AAP, SAD, AIMIM, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Odisha’s ruling BJD skipped it. Leaders of Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), National Conference, PDP, JD(S), RSP, IUML, RLD and the JMM were among those present.
The Presidential election is conducted indirectly through an electoral college consisting of members of Parliament and the legislative assemblies of states and Union territories. In an electoral college of around 10.86 lakh votes, the BJP-led alliance is estimated to have more than 48 per cent of the votes and is hopeful that non-aligned regional parties will support it.