Opposition parties battling hard to take on government on note ban

The meet is likely to be followed by a joint press conference at a neutral venue so as to avoid any impression of it being a "Congress event". Sonia, who was not in action for some part of the winter session of Parliament, has been calling leaders of non-BJP political parties to put up a united front against note ban.

Opposition parties battling hard to take on government on note ban

At a time when  some non-BJP CMs -- Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik,  O Paneerselvam -- are backing PM Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive blunting Rahul Gandhi's attack on the PM, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may come to the rescue of the principal opposition party.

In what will come as a relief to the Congress vice-president, sources within Trinamool say Mamata is likely to attend the opposition party's show of unity against the cash ban slated for Tuesday. The meeting is also expected to chart out a plan to take the protest to the people extending their action beyond the recently concluded winter session of Parliament.


The meet is likely to be followed by a joint press conference at a neutral venue so as to avoid any impression of it being a "Congress event". Sonia, who was not in action for some part of the winter session of Parliament, has been calling leaders of non-BJP political parties to put up a united front against note ban.

Congress had renewed efforts to forge opposition unity against demonetisation as the 50-days deadline for depositing scrapped currency notes is set to end and assembly polls for five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, are to be announced.

The move is also seen as an attempt by Congress to repair opposition unity which was dented after Rahul Gandhi met Modi hours before an opposition delegation was to meet President Pranab Mukherjee at the end of the winter session.
Even now it is not clear if all invitees will turn up. JD(U) spokesman K C Tyagi confirmed senior leader Sharad Yadav will be present. "Since our party president Nitish Kumar has always tried to forge a strong anti-BJP alliance, efforts to stitch opposition unity is a welcome move and our party has extended full support to the move," Tyagi said.

But Samajwadi Party and NCP might skip the meet as there was no confirmation from their side. BSP sources confirmed their non-participation in the press meet. "To the best of my knowledge, NCP is not coming and SP had already refused to come", said a senior opposition leader. However, a senior NCP leader said party president Sharad Pawar will take a final call on Sunday.

The meeting with Modi annoyed many opposition parties with SP, BSP, NCP, DMK, CPM, CPI and JD(S) keeping away from the meeting with Mukherjee. The JD(U), TMC, RJD, RSP and National Conference were part of the delegation. Later, leaders from the SP and NCP slammed the Congress for meeting the PM unilaterally to raise the issue of agrarian distress.