The Samajwadi Party will be the only party from Uttar Pradesh attending the opposition leaders' meeting in Patna on Friday, with BSP supremo Mayawati not being invited while the Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary will skip the meet due to a family programme.
However, Mr. Chaudhary hoped the meeting will be an "important milestone in the path of opposition unity".
The meeting of opposition parties has been called by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar to chalk out a joint strategy to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav has been urging all opposition parties to join hands to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
Targeting the parties which are slated to participate in the opposition conclave, Ms. Mayawati on Thursday termed the meeting as more about joining of hands than hearts.
The BSP chief has not been invited for the opposition meeting.
JDU chief spokesperson K.C. Tyagi told PTI, "We have invited those parties that are willing to fight against the BJP in 2024. BSP says it will not become part of alliance, then why should we waste our invitation".
Ms. Mayawati said it does not seem from the attitude of opposition parties that they are serious about their objective in Uttar Pradesh.
"Eighty Lok Sabha seats in UP are said to be the key to electoral success, but it does not seem from the attitude of the opposition parties that they are serious and truly concerned about their objective here. Without the right priorities, will the preparations for the Lok Sabha elections here really bring about the necessary change?" she said.
Keeping in mind the preparations for the next Lok Sabha elections, it would have been better if these parties had tried to instil general confidence in the people with clear intentions, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.
"How long will 'muh me Ram bagal me chhuri' (speaking praise on face and stabbing in the back) last?" she added.
RLD leader Mr. Chaudhary said he will not attend the meeting due to a "predetermined family programme".
In a letter to Mr. Kumar that was shared on the official Twitter handle of the RLD on Thursday, Mr. Chaudhary said, "The way authoritarian and communal forces are posing a threat to democracy and social harmony in the country, it is the need of the hour to unite the opposition parties of the same ideology. By discussing the important problems and challenges of the country, the entire opposition can present a far-reaching, practical plan in front of the public".
"This way, we can together bring a meaningful change in the country in line with the aspirations of the youth, women, farmers and the underprivileged sections of the society," he said.
Extending his best wishes for the success of the meeting, the RLD chief said, "I am sure that this meeting will prove to be an important milestone in the path of opposition unity."
Top leaders of Opposition parties will brainstorm at a meeting in Patna on Friday to chalk out a roadmap for the formation of an anti-BJP front for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, party leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Delhi counterpart and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Maharashtra's former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar are among the leaders expected to attend the first high-level opposition meeting.