Sonia, Rahul express pain at UP child deaths

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Congress high command Sonia Gandhi had invited nearly all the opposition parties to unite as one entity against the BJP-led government on Friday, ahead of the last day of the monsoon session.

However, this message was lost because of the NCP's absence.

"Summary: A meeting of state-level senior leaders of both the parties was called at Vidhan Bhavan, but senior NCP leaders gave it a miss", said the Congress leader. Based on the numbers, the NCP may claim the post.

Sources close to Congress MP Ahmed Patel hinted that the 44th winning vote he received in the recent Rajya Sabha poll was probably not from one of the two Nationalist Congress Party legislators, but from the lone JD-U MLA, Chotubhai Vasava. But NCP's uncertain relations with Congress and friction caused by only one of its two Gujarat MLAs voting for Patel seemed to have cast a shadow over the opposition talks. It is hard to predict his political moves as he has a tendency to keep his friends and foes constantly on tenterhooks.

Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar is being probed by investigative agencies for financial irregularities committed during his tenure as Maharashtra deputy chief minister.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee held a rally felicitating Rahul Gandhi for the amendment introduced to Article 371 (J) providing special status for Hyderabad Karnataka region, during the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre.

Consequently, the NCP is under pressure from the Modi government to stay away from the united opposition coalition being proposed with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

When asked if opposition parties are going to attend the rally called by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on 27 August in Patna, Azad said that there was a discussion on it and all the opposition leaders who are keen on attending it will be doing so. The anti-BJP front, already seriously dented by the exit of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last month, now appears to have shrunk from 18 to 16 members. He was represented by Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar. Its leader Sharad Yadav is touring Bihar to assess the public's mood on the decision of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to junk the Grand Alliance with the RJD and Congress and join the NDA camp. Having made a start with the elections of the president and vice president, the opposition is keen to keep up the momentum of its fight even though it is facing serious roadblocks in this journey.

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