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Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls, Oppn Parties Drafting Joint Declaration on Jobs and Agriculture

Earlier this month, preliminary talks on a ‘joint strategy’ took place in the meeting of opposition parties at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence.

Payal Mehta | CNN-News18

Updated:February 21, 2019, 4:12 PM IST
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Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls, Oppn Parties Drafting Joint Declaration on Jobs and Agriculture
File photo of Mamata Banerjee, HD Kumaraswamy, Akhilesh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Satish Chandra Mishra, Farooq Abdullah and other opposition leaders join hands at the opposition rally in Kolkata. Image for representation. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: In the run up to Lok Sabha elections, opposition parties are in the process of drafting a joint declaration that will articulate a common stand.

Sources say the declaration is aimed at challenging the government’s claims on job creation and the state of agriculture. It will also propose alternative and remedial measures.

Earlier this month, preliminary talks on a ‘joint strategy’ took place in the meeting of opposition parties at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence.

The Congress has been entrusted with the task of finalising a draft document, according to sources. The draft document is likely to be discussed on February 26, when these leaders are scheduled to meet again. The venue of the meeting is yet to be finalised.

Guwahati, Ranchi, Chandigarh and New Delhi are being considered to hold the talks on February 26. Schedule for the next big joint rallies will be decided at the meeting.

The parties have so far agreed on broadly two points: a state by state understanding to reduce division of votes and maximise one on one fight with the BJP, and identifying issues which can be projected as a joint vision or a Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

The emphasis of the CMP is likely to be job creation and solution to recurring agrarian distress.

The CMP hopes to bring about electoral reforms in the country, especially in the context of the ongoing debate over the use of electronic voting machines, VVPATs. The CMP will also articulate concerns of regional parties on centre-state relations.

The meeting is likely to see leaders like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, N Chandra Babu Naidu, Farooq Abdullah, Arvind Kejriwal, Kanimozhi, including others.

BSP chief Mayawati is unlikely to attend the meeting. The party may instead be represented by Satish Mishra. SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav has also not confirmed his participation.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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