The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a key constituent of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was conspicuously absent from a meeting of 'like-minded' parties called by the Indian National Congress (INC) on Monday (4 November).
On absentees, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "You go and ask them why they did not come." The other prominent absentees were the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The meeting was called by the Congress to take on the government on various issues, including economic slowdown and job losses, during the 10-day nationwide campaign, beginning Tuesday.
Representatives of 13 parties attended the meeting and discussed common strategy against the government on the eve of Congress stir. D Kupendra Reddy (JD-S), Sharad Yadav (LJD), T R Balu (DMK), Manoj Jha (RJD), Nadimul Haque (TMC), Ajit Singh (RLD), T K Rangarajan (CPI-M), D Raja, Binoy Viswam (CPI), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP), P K Kunhalikutti (IUML), Jose K Mani (KCM), and Shatrujeet Singh (RSP) attended the meet.
The Congress had invited all non-NDA parties to formulate a strategy to corner the government on key issues. The Congress has asked party workers to protest against the central government policies at all levels, starting with blocks.
The Congress has also planned a mega rally in the first week of December. Though the dates were yet to be finalised, it could take place on 1 December. Congress leaders would also address the media at 35 places.
(With inputs from IANS)
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