Trinamool Congress will not attend the meeting called by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday to fine-tune their floor strategy during Winter Session of Parliament but said common issues will unite them.
Sources said no Trinamool leader will attend the meeting of Opposition parties called by the Congress. While senior MPs were absent or decided not to attend for political reasons, junior MPs used to represent the party in such meetings.
However, no MP will attend the meeting this time. Also, Lok Sabha floor leader Sudip Bandhopadyay and his Rajya Sabha counterpart Derek O'Brien will not be in Delhi on Monday, as they will be attending a meeting of Trinamool Working Committee in Kolkata.
When asked about unity among Opposition parties, O'Brien said there will be Opposition unity in Parliament and it is the common issues that will unite them.
However, he said one must note the distinction between Trinamool Congress and other parties like RJD, DMK, Shiv Sena, JMM, the Left parties and NCP in connection with their relationship with Congress.
He said RJD, DMK, RJD and the CPI(M) are all electoral allies of the Congress while the NCP-Shiv Sena and JMM run a government with the Congress.
"The Congress is not our electoral ally nor are we running a government with them. That’s the difference," he said.
Kharge sought to play down the non-attendance of Trinamool leaders saying that O'Brien has already told him that he would not be in Delhi. He also said NCP chief Sharad Pawar has also informed him about his inability to attend the meeting as he has to attend a marriage in Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's family.
Congress and Trinamool Congress are at loggerheads after the latter started poaching its leaders. Last week, 12 out of 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya crossed over to Trinamool while two of its senior leaders Luizinho Faleiro and Sushmita Deb had joined the party earlier and were rewarded with Rajya Sabha berths.
Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also did not meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week despite being in the national capital for four days.
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