West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati are likely to skip the meeting meant to showcase opposition unity on the CAA-NRC matter
Opposition parties are set to meet on January 13 to discuss the political situation in the country amid ongoing student protests, and over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The meeting is scheduled to happen in the afternoon, in New Delhi.
Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Left parties, among others, are likely to attend the meeting.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is also likely to attend the meet.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati are likely to skip the meeting which is meant to showcase opposition unity.
News18 has reported that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will also not attend the meeting.
For her absence, Banerjee has cited the clashes between Left workers and her party cadre during the trade union strike last week.
Taking on the Congress and the Left, which are rivals in the state, Banerjee said, "What the Left and the Congress are doing in the name of the CAA-NRC is not a movement but vandalism".
The West Bengal chief minister has also highlighted that she was the one to moot the idea of an opposition meeting first.
"I was the first to launch an andolan (movement) against CAA, NRC," she added.
Reports suggest that BSP’s differences with the Congress is the reason for Mayawati opting out of the meeting. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati recently attacked Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over the death of babies at a hospital in Kota, Rajasthan. The state is currently ruled by a Congress government.
Mayawati said, if the "woman general secretary of the Congress" would not visit Kota to meet the mothers who lost their children, her meetings with the families of victims in Uttar Pradesh would be considered for "political interest and drama".
BSP did not join other opposition parties when they approached President Ram Nath Kovind against the CAA. However, it later met the president on the matter.On January 11, Sonia Gandhi called the CAA a "discriminatory and divisive" law of which the "sinister" purpose was to divide people on the basis of religion. She also asserted that the National Population Register (NPR) in form and content was "disguised NRC".