After JD (U), NCP skips Opposition meet called by Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi calls opposition meet for joint action

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to hold a meeting of leaders of various opposition parties on Friday, the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament. Since Sharad Yadav is in Patna, he may be represented by Ali Anwar Ansari. Pawar's NCP was one of the 18 parties invited by Sonia Gandhi.

Yechury also walked out of the meeting saying the CPI (M) has chose to launch an independent peoples' struggle on twin issues of agrarian crisis and unemployment to build a popular alternative narrative to the propaganda unleashed bu the Modi-led BJP.

It was also made a decision to set constitute a small coordination committee to discuss future strategy against NDA government.

Yechury, who left early, said there was a need to create an "alternate narrative in which people's issues are central".

There were reports that two MLAs of the NCP in Gujarat might have voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and not for Congress candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections.

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"We are not the B-team of the Congress".

NCP leader Praful Patel said his party chose to boycott the meeting as the Congress was accusing it of not supporting the Ahmed Patel when its legislators had cast their votes in his favour.

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel, on the other hand, said they skipped the meeting because of Congress' lack of trust. Apart from NCP M Jose of Kerala Congress (Mani) had excused himself from the meeting as he had a party programme on Friday in the state. However, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the "agenda was to thank the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Opposition parties", reported ANI.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Azad said the parties had raised issues in Parliament in a coordinated manner and floor management has improved.

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