NDA springs surprise, to hold meet on Sept. 1
Nalanda, Mumbai: The Lok Sabha elections are likely to be advanced as the BJP fears that with time it would suffer more losses because of increasing Opposition unity, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday, a couple of days ahead of the Opposition I.N.D.I.A grouping in Mumbai.
Asked about a similar claim made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement, Kumar told reporters, “I have been saying it for the last seven-eight months that the NDA government at the Centre might go for early Lok Sabha polls, fearing more loss to the BJP because of opposition unity.”
The Opposition meeting is meant to discuss alliance strategies for the Lok Sabha elections and seat-sharing in the states. The alliance is to launch its logo, and so regional parties may join it.
Giving an inkling of the mood in the alliance, RJD president Lalu Prasad, who reached Mumbai on Tuesday, said: “Hum log Narendra Modi ka nareti pakde hue hain......nareti par chadhne jaa rahe hain (we are catching Narendra Modi by his throat, we are going to tighten our hold).”
Meanwhile, the NDA coalition in Maharashtra said it would hold its meeting on September 1, when the I.N.D.I.A. parties meet in Mumbai.
Tatkare denied that the meeting was deliberately scheduled to take attention away from the INDIA meeting and said the date had been decided long back.
Senior Congress senior leader Ashok Chavan confirmed that 26 to 27 parties will attend the for the I.N.D.I.A. meeting. “An informal gathering will be held on the evening of August 31 in Mumbai and a formal meeting on September 1,” he said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar visited the venue of the meeting for more than an hour and took stock of preparations.