Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee stressed on Wednesday (6 December) that Chief Ministers should be notified ahead of time about meetings due to their pre-arranged schedules.
The West Bengal Chief Minister mentioned that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had invited her on Monday to participate in the Opposition coalition's meeting, which was originally slated for Wednesday.
"A couple of days ago, Rahul ji contacted me about a meeting, but I was unaware as no one had informed me and I also had my own schedule," explained Banerjee before departing for an event in north Bengal.
According to The Hindu, she highlighted that other Chief Ministers, too, have their own commitments and cannot attend if they aren't notified at least a week in advance.
Banerjee expressed optimism that the opposition parties, united under the Indian National Developmental Inclusive (INDI) Alliance, would convene soon and willingness to join the meeting "whenever they decide".
The Congress was compelled on Tuesday to demote the INDI Alliance event from an intended assembly of party heads to a "coordination meeting of Parliamentary party leaders".
In addition to Banerjee, the invitation for the December 6 event was also turned down by MK. Stalin, the DMK President and Tamil Nadu CM, due to the prevailing flood situation in the State. Similarly, Nitish Kumar Bihar CM and leader of Janata Dal (United), was down with fever that prevented him from attending.
Banerjee issued a call on Monday for INDI Alliance to secure seat-sharing agreements amongst its constituent parties, as a strategy to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Banerjee expressed her conviction that if the parties within INDI Alliance can agree on seat sharing, the BJP will be unable to regain power in 2024. She stated that the outcome of the recent Assembly elections in five states represented a loss for the Congress party, not the people.
This comment was made following the BJP's takeover of power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, previously held by the Congress, and their continued hold in Madhya Pradesh. The only state where Congress triumphed was Telangana.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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