Sonia Gandhi likely to chair opposition meet on August 20 | India News

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NEW DELHI: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is likely to chair a meeting of opposition leaders on August 20. The meeting is expected to be virtual, during which the leaders, including NCP president Sharad Pawar and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee will join a brainstorming session to discuss the issue of strengthening opposition unity and the agenda going ahead.
Sources said the meeting would be attended by, apart from Congress CMs, opposition chief ministers like Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra), DMK’s Stalin (Tamil Nadu) and Mamata (West Bengal).
This gathering assumes significance in the wake of the coordination that opposition parties managed to show during the monsoon session of Parliament, when their united stand that the government hold a discussion on the Pegasus snooping scandal first led to a standoff, and ultimately paralysed the proceedings in both Houses. The opposition sees this as a victory for the anti-BJP bloc which has been reeling under fragmentation since 2019 when BJP returned to power.
Even as the opposition huddle of around 15 parties has come together with pledges to strengthen their unity, the issue of the bloc’s leadership remains unresolved. Many opposition leaders have repeatedly stated that the ticklish subject should be left for a later stage by when coordination and agenda is settled. The focus of the opposition camp is now on setting an agenda and a programme with which it can pitch itself as an alternative to BJP.
The opposition has been emboldened since the TMC’s victory in Bengal. However, the Bengal outfit has shown some reservations about its participation in joint activities that are headed by Rahul Gandhi. Even Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Sonia Gandhi doesn’t appear to have ironed out this reservation of TMC. It is viewed as rooted in the question of future leadership of the opposition bloc.

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