The Congress could be one of the few absentees at the huge opposition meet in Haryana on Sunday on the occasion of 129th birth anniversary celebrations of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal. KC Tyagi, senior leader of Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal United told NDTV today that the party has not yet been invited. He, however, hastened to add that they do not believe in “political untouchability”.
“Under Nitish Kumar’s unity plan, Congress, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the Left parties, Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao and Arvind Kejriwal — all are included,” Mr Tyagi told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
“We do not subscribe to the idea of political untouchability. Om Prakash Chautala (the son of Devi Lal) has gone on record saying that to defeat the BJP in Haryana, he is ready to join hands even with the Congress,” he added.
Mr Tyagi, however, confirmed that Mr Kumar and Lalu Yadav will meet Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on September 26, the day after the Fatehabad celebrations.
“The program is almost set and the meeting will take place if nothing untoward happens,” Mr Tyagi said. “When Nitish-ji went to Delhi the last time, he expressed a wish to met Sonia Gandhi and this time, he and Lalu-ji will meet her,” he added.
Most opposition parties have been invited for the September 25 programme, which promises to be a mega meet. A positive RSVP has been received from Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK, National Conferences Farooq Abdullah, and CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and others.
The invitees also include Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. “No response (to the invite) has been received from these parties yet,” he added.
Most prominent will be the leaders who have been closely worked with Devi Lal. Among them are Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav.