Mamata Banerjee to meet Sonia Gandhi, Oppn leaders

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Leaders of 18 Opposition parties led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will meet to chalk out a common strategy to corner the NDA government on a range of issues in the national capital on Friday. "That is why we made a decision to boycott this meeting", Patel told PTI.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who arrived here on Thursday, met senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel ahead of the Opposition meeting on Friday. The move comes amid reports that two MLAs of the NCP in Gujarat may have voted for the BJP and not for the Congress candidate Ahmed Patel in the recently held Rajya Sabha elections.

"We are not the B-team of the Congress".

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Briefing reporters after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the parties had raised issues in Parliament in a coordinated manner and floor management has improved. "We are not in alliance with the Congress anywhere, still we supported them in Gujarat, but their spokesperson in Gujarat kept blaming us", Patel told the media.

JD (U) general secretary K C Tyagi said, "Calling our party members in meeting of Opposition leaders reveals Sonia Gandhi's wrong intentions".

The meeting is likely to discuss an opposition rally called by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in Patna on August 27, which will target the newly-formed Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal-United alliance government in Bihar led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. However, no one from the party turned up to attend the meeting.

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