Congress, NCP joint meeting on 6 February to discuss strategy against BJP


Mumbai:Continuing with their tactical camaraderie against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Maharashtra, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will have a joint meeting on 6 February in Mumbai to discuss strategies to take on the BJP.

Functionaries from both the opposition parties said the meeting would be a continuation of their efforts to form a united opposition to the BJP and identify issues specific to Maharashtra on which the two parties could coordinate.

“The top leadership of Congress and NCP has agreed that in order to be an effective opposition to the BJP, regular coordination is necessary between the two major parties. We have our differences but we have also run a coalition government for 15 years in Maharashtra. We need to hold regular meetings to work on common concerns and agenda,” said a Congress functionary, requesting anonymity.

Senior leaders from Congress and NCP including former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and leaders of the opposition in the two houses of Maharashtra legislature Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Dhananjay Munde are likely to attend the meeting.

In Maharashtra, the Congress and NCP have been coordinating their strategy since April last year when they, along with other smaller opposition parties, organised a ‘Sangharsha Yatra’ against the BJP-led government.

In December, the two parties came together for a protest rally in Nagpur during the winter session of the state legislature. Then on 26 January, the Congress, NCP, and several other opposition parties and like-minded social organisations organised a ‘Samvidhan Bachao’ (Save the Constitution) rally in Mumbai against the BJP government.

Last week, NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a meeting of opposition parties including Congress at his residence in Delhi followed by another meeting called for Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress-NCP meeting in Mumbai is also likely to discuss floor co-ordination during the upcoming budget session of the state legislature. An NCP functionary said the BJP was facing “an unprecedented level of resentment” in Maharashtra and elsewhere.

“The Halla Bol agitation we organised in Marathwada and North Maharashtra, especially the meeting in Aurangabad on last Saturday addressed by Pawar saheb, has been a roaring success which is indicative of the growing resentment against the BJP. It is time now for better legislative co-ordination and joint campaigns to get carry the momentum. It is also time we set aside our differences and work with a single-point agenda of defeating the BJP,” the NCP functionary said requesting anonymity.livemint