NCP skips meet by Opposition parties

Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s dramatic victory in the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat has galvanised the party to organise a conclave of Opposition leaders in New Delhi to work out a plan for the 2019 general elections

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On his part, Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said NCP chief Pawar was unwell and he had spoken to him ahead of the meeting.

After the repeated defeats at the hands of the BJP in a series of elections and the party's aggressive push to establish footprints in non-BJP ruled states through other means, the Opposition leaders are working around the "unite or perish" principle. "After the Congress MLA's betraying its own party shows how strong they are?" Conduct any meeting; nothing can hamper us in any way, ? he said. But NCP's uncertain relations with Congress and friction caused by only one of its two Gujarat MLAs voting for Patel seemed to have cast a shadow over the opposition talks.

The reason, sources said, might be the NCP being miffed with the Congress after it expressed doubt over its integrity.

BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) said backing up the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) that they made a good decision by skipping the opposition party meeting.

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Just days after a morale-boosting win for Congress leader Ahmed Patel in a hard-fought Rajya Sabha election, the opposition received a setback with NCP staying away from a meeting called to chalk out a joint strategy against BJP.

Meanwhile, with Ahmed Patel emerging victorious in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, the NCP on Wednesday reminded the Congress that this triumph happened due to their help, and the grand old party must remember this in the future. "Now, the Congress must remember this in future, reciprocate it and treat us like a younger brother", NCP senior leader Majeed Memon told ANI.

The party, which returned to power in May 2013 after a decade in the opposition, will contest the assembly election on the basis of its performance over the last four years, including various welfare schemes for the people across the state, he said.

Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid.

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