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Keen for unity amid ED row, Cong, Left likely to attend Mamata meet

The Congress and the Left parties are likely to attend a meeting that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has convened in Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the Opposition’s strategy in the coming Presidential elections.

Both Congress and the Left are not impressed with what they call Banerjee’s “unilateral” initiative, but sources in these parties said they will attend the meeting to avoid a signal of division in the Opposition camp from going out.

Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar too is expected to reach the capital on Tuesday. Apart from the Congress, the AAP too had held discussions with Pawar on the presidential polls. Sources said the AAP has conveyed to Pawar that it will support him if he is the candidate for the presidential elections.

It is not clear who will attend the meeting on behalf of the Congress and the Left. And it remains to be seen whether Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress point person for talks with other opposition parties, will attend.

With the Congress turning the summoning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED into a political slug fest with the BJP, sources in the party said it is keen to see the Opposition united at this juncture. Leaders of the Congress and others in the Opposition are also suspecting the ED move may have been timed with the presidential elections.

CPI general secretary D Raja said: “The timing and context of the ED move raises several questions. Why the ED was waiting all the while. If there are serious things, the ED could have taken up (the questioning of Congress leaders) long ago. There are genuine apprehensions and allegations that the central agencies are being used to terrorize the Opposition for political purposes”.

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