We Want Opposition Unity, Says Congress Day After Meghalaya Coup

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Sonia Gandhi (left) presided over the Congress meeting. (File)

New Delhi:

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A day after the Trinamool Congress lost 12 out of 17 MLAs to Meghalaya, the Congress appeared significantly concerned, abandoning the position of the state’s main opposition party as it held a strategy meeting in Delhi on Thursday with a pledge to maintain unity among the opposition. The ruling BJP.

“Under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, we have discussed the forthcoming session of Parliament. We have many issues to raise in Parliament. On the 29th, we will raise the issue of MSP (Minimum Support Price) and farmers,” senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge told a news conference.

“We will increase inflation, petrol and diesel prices, and Chinese infiltration. We want to discuss all of this. We will coordinate with all other parties – the grassroots and others for an integrated approach,” he said.

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“We want opposition unity,” Mr Kharg said.

The demand comes on the heels of a spin-off Congress led by Trinamool-Mamata Banerjee – leading former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and 11 other Congress MLAs in a massive coup for the ruling party in north-east West Bengal.

The meeting was chaired by Sonia Gandhi and was attended by senior Congress leaders.

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Meghalaya legislators submitted a letter to Assembly Speaker Metbah Lindoh around 10pm on Wednesday, informing him of the change in their status, sources said.

The development, which made the Trinamool Congress the main opposition party in the state, came a day after Congress leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar, as well as former Pawan Verma of the Janata Dal (United), joined the Trinamool Congress in Delhi. Party chief Mamata Banerjee is currently touring the national capital.

Meghalaya is the latest state where the Trinamool Congress has entered an expansion mode over the last few months. In Assam, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana, it has affected the price of Congress.

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Abhijit Mukherjee, son of the late President Pranab Mukherjee, was inducted into the Congress party; Sushmita Dev, daughter of former Congress MP from Silchar and late Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev.

Mrs. Banerjee, known for sharing amicable relations with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, did not meet him this time, though there were rumors of a meeting.

When asked about this, Trinamool Congress chief. He did not want any appointment with Sonia Gandhi because “they are busy with Punjab elections”, said Mrs. Banerjee.

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He then explicitly added, “Why should we meet Sonia every time? It is not constitutionally mandatory.”

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