New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s strategy to take on the NDA government on coronavirus by rallying all opposition parties at a meeting seems to have once again fallen flat with three major parties – BSP, SP and AAP – deciding to give it a miss.
The Congress had sent invites to 18 opposition parties earlier this week for the video-conference meeting on Friday. The agenda that includes a host of issues focuses on the Centre’s economic package and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting was scheduled to be held in April. But some parties wanted to defer it considering the overall pandemic situation in the country and people’s sentiment related to it. Now that the Narendra Modi-led government has been pushed to backfoot by economic impact of lockdown, the opposition parties might have sensed it as the right opportunity to pose a united approach in taking on the government, according to political pundits.
Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Jharkhand Mamata Banerjee, Udhav Thackeray and Hemant Soren have consented to attend the meeting. DMK chief MK Stalin, NCP head Sharad Pawar, the Left parties and other UPA partners are other participants.
Sources said the meeting will focus on the Centre’s approach towards the states during the pandemic and lockdown, migrant crisis and lack of financial help.
But not all participating partiers are optimistic of the meeting, One of the opposition leaders hoped that it should not be about the migrants only. The complete mismanagement and inept handling of the situation should be addressed.
Besides highlighting the government’s loopholes, constructive measures for overcoming the crisis should be hammered out at the meeting, he added.