After the recent lathicharge on the peaceful protesters of the Left-Front activists in Kolkata, CPM central leader Sitaram Yechury conveyed to Sonia Gandhi that he won’t attend the all party meeting with Mamata Banerjee also being there. This move of CPM leader is also seen in the context of the Bengal Left-Congress move to bring a no-confidence motion against the Banerjee regime in the next assembly session.
To tackle the situation diplomatically, the all party meet has now been converted into a ‘social bonding over lunch’ without a structured discussion on deciding the candidate for president election 2017. Sonia Gandhi said that she was unable to collectively meet them for some time due to her preoccupation with health, therefore this lunch gathering has been organised.
Though, this lunch gathering idea may also mean Left leaders and Banerjee can hold discussions with Gandhi separately before or after the lunch. Discussions on a joint approach for presidential election, may be delayed for some more time on a one-on-one basis as Gandhi reaches out to individual leaders. Some of the opposition leaders are also buying out time tactfully, to avoid the discussion on candidate for presidential poll, as they are waiting to see the ruling party’s initiative regarding this matter and also want to see if Modi reaches out to them.
Other reasons to have delayed the all party meet on formal consultations on the presidential candidate may be that, Sharad Pawar is out of country and will not be able to attend the meet and the opposition camp also wants to give more time to BJD to make up its stand on the presidential poll.
Admist all of this, there are rumors also that, before the lunch meet on 26 may, Mamata Banerjee may urge Narendra Modi on 25 May during their meeting, to consider a second term for President Pranab Mukherjee.