Congress likely to take part in TMC's meeting to discuss upcoming presidential election


The Congress is likely to take part in the Opposition parties called by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at the Constitution Club in Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming Presidential election. According to reports, Congress MPs Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala may represent the party at the meeting. Several Opposition parties, including the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Left parties, are likely to attend the meeting and take forward the discussion on the joint candidate. The election of the President of India is scheduled to be held on July 18. Banerjee, who is also the West Bengal chief minister, left for New Delhi for the meeting earlier in the day. She met Pawar at his residence and discussed the Presidential election. Last week, she wrote to 22 Opposition leaders and chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states requesting them to attend the meeting to formulate a joint strategy for the upcoming presidential polls.

She said the presidential election provides the perfect opportunity for all progressive parties to reconvene and deliberate on the future course of Indian politics against "divisive forces".

A senior TMC leader the the party is hopeful of the meeting's success. "We are very much hopeful that the meeting will be a success. As far as we know, all the 22 leaders will be represented at the meeting," the TMC leader said. She is also likely to meet some of the opposition leaders. "After the meeting, there are chances that she will meet a few opposition leaders. But nothing is finalized as of now," the leader added. Meanwhile, senior NCP leaders said their party chief Sharad Pawar is not keen on contesting the Presidential election even amid reports of some Opposition parties backing his candidature for the race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Pawar will however attend the meeting convened by Banerjee in the national capital.

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