Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accompanied by state in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and State Home Minister Parameshwar, conducted an inspection of the arrangements for the upcoming second meeting of Opposition party leaders. The meeting is scheduled to commence on July 17 in Bengaluru, as confirmed by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Saturday.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, has already extended invitations to prominent opposition leaders to participate in the second unity meeting. In his invitation letter, Kharge reminded the leaders of their attendance at the opposition meeting on June 23, which was held in Patna and organized by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Kharge expressed satisfaction with the success of the previous meeting, stating, “We were able to discuss various important issues that threaten our democratic polity and came to a unanimous agreement on unitedly fighting the next General Elections.”
The second Opposition unity meeting in Bengaluru is expected to be attended by leaders from at least 24 political parties. Sources indicate that eight new parties have pledged their support to the opposition’s efforts to present a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Kongu Desa Makkal Katchi (KDMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), All India Forward Bloc, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Kerala Congress (Joseph), and Kerala Congress (Mani) are among the new political parties that will be joining the meeting,” sources confirmed.
Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is also expected to attend the Opposition Parties meeting. It is noteworthy that KDMK and MDMK were previously aligned with the BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Furthermore, Mallikarjun Kharge has personally invited top opposition leaders to participate in the forthcoming unity meeting. In his recent letter, he emphasized the importance of continuing the discussions and building upon the momentum generated during the previous meeting. Kharge expressed the need for collective action to address the challenges faced by the country.
The letter stated, “In furtherance thereof, I request you to kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting followed by dinner on July 17 at 6.00 pm in Bengaluru. The meeting will continue on July 18, 2023, from 11.00 am onwards. Looking forward to meeting you in Bengaluru.”
Lalu Prasad, the leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has also confirmed his attendance at the meeting in Bengaluru. The first Opposition Unity meeting, held on June 23 in Patna and convened by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, witnessed the participation of more than 15 parties. Leaders such as AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin were among those who attended.
Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is expected to participate in the dinner hosted by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for Opposition leaders in Bengaluru during the mega Opposition meet on July 17 and 18. Additionally, she is likely to be present for the formal deliberations on July 18. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has extended invitations to 24 like-minded parties, including the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).