With talks focussed on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, opposition leaders on Wednesday met at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's residence in Delhi and vowed to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The top opposition leaders agreed to work together to prepare a common minimum programme to oust the Modi government and to consider forging a pre-poll alliance.
The meeting was hosted NCP President Sharad Pawar, where Congress President Rahul Gandhi and AAP's Arvind Kejriwal came together for the first time. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh conterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, who were also present at the meeting, vowed to work together due to "democratic compulsions to save India." The meeting was held hours after opposition leaders shared a dias at an AAP protest on the day of the last sitting of the present Lok Sabha.
Rahul Gandhi told reporters that opposition leaders agreed to have a common minimum programme.
"We will work together to defeat the BJP," he said.
Kejriwal termed the talks "constructive" and said the opposition will work together. The meeting indicates that the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, who have been bitter rivals since the regional party came to power in Delhi in 2015, may forge a tie-up.
Trinamool Congress president Banerjee called the meeting "fruitful" and asserted that "we will do pre-poll alliance if needed". Opposition leaders will keep meeting in the coming days for better coordination, she said.
Telugu Desam Party head Naidu said there was a democratic compulsion to save India while Farooq Abdullah of the National Conferences termed the meeting "good".