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Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 1:35 PM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 8:02 PM (IST)

Sonia’s power dinner tonight; all eyes on opposition bigwigs

Sonia’s power dinner tonight; all eyes on opposition bigwigs
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said in a recent public statement that all like-minded parties should come together and sink their differences to defeat the BJP. File photo

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 13

Congress strategists are working overtime to ensure the success of the dinner party to be hosted by Sonia Gandhi for Opposition leaders at her residence on Tuesday evening.

Invitations have gone out to around 18 leaders—TMC president Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, DMK’s M Stalin, JMM’s Hemant Soren and Babu Lal Marandi, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Prajatantrik chief Babulal Marandi, NC’s Farooq and Omar Abdullah, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja and RSP’s NK Premchandran, as well as leaders of IUML, Kerala Congress and RLD.

Congress sources said the TDP, still being part of the NDA, has not been invited.

The party is significant to forge Opposition unity in the face of growing electoral threats from the BJP that recently expanded its footprint in the northeast also.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said in a recent public statement that all like-minded parties should come together and sink their differences to defeat the BJP.

She also said the Congress won't let the BJP return to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

It remains to be seen how strongly her message resonates with the Opposition considering new emerging equations where the Congress is finding itself out of conversations like in party ruled Karnataka, where Mayawati’s BSP announced a pre poll tie up with JDS.

The question is whether Congress is still seen as the leader of a potential non-NDA front for 2019 Lok Sabha polls or whether new patterns could emerge.

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