NEW DELHI: With the Rajya Sabha results exposing dissension and lack of cohesion among opposition parties, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday reached out to her counterparts and other leaders to participate in a meeting in Delhi on June 15 to discuss the upcoming presidential polls, which are scheduled for July 18.
“The presidential elections are the perfect opportunity for all progressive opposition parties to reconvene and deliberate on the future course of Indian politics,” Banerjee said in the letter.
“At a time when our democracy is going through troubling times, I believe that a fruitful confluence of opposition voices is the need of the hour; to echo the deprived and unrepresented communities,” she added.
The letter was addressed to 22 leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann.
Rajya Sabha polls
The Rajya Sabha election results have come as a morale booster for the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
Rajya Sabha polls for 57 seats were held across 15 states. While 41 members in 11 states were elected unopposed, elections were held for 16 seats in four states on Friday due to the presence of more contestants than the available vacancies in each of these states.
The BJP managed to retain 22 of the 24 Rajya Sabha seats it held in the biennial polls and also ensured the victory of an independent, underlining its pull among unaffiliated legislators and disaffected lawmakers in opposition camp.
In an electoral college of around 10.86 lakh votes, the BJP-led alliance is estimated to have more than 48% of votes and is hopeful that non-aligned regional parties like the YSR Congress and the BJD will support it during the presidential election.
The party’s gamble to force a contest in these states besides Rajasthan by backing independents or putting its own candidates to benefit from division in the ranks of its rivals have paid dividends as it bagged one extra seat each in all states barring Rajasthan.
The BJP’s better-than-expected show have again highlighted dissension and lack of cohesion in the opposition ranks from Maharashtra to Karnataka and Haryana.
(With inputs from agencies)