The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a key constituent of the United Progressive Allaince (UPA), was its absence at a meeting of 'like-minded' parties, here on on Monday.
On absentees, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "You go and ask them why they didn't come." The prominent absentees were the NCP, the SP and the BSP.
The meeting was called by the Congress to take on the government on various issues, including economic slowdown and job losses, during the 10-day nationwide campaign, beginning on Tuesday.
The Congress has also planned a mega rally in the first week of December. Though the dates were yet to be finalised, it could take place on December 1, sources said. Congress leaders would also address the media at 35 places.
Representatives of 13 parties attended the meet and discussed common strategy against the government on the eve of Congress stir. D. Kupendra Reddy (JD-S), Sharad Yadav (LJD), T.R. Balu (DMK), Manoj Jha (RJD), Nadimul Haque(TMC), Ajit Singh (RLD), T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M), D. Raja, Binoy Viswam (CPI), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP), PK Kunhalikutti (IUML), Jose K. Mani (KCM) and Shatrujeet Singh (RSP) attended the meet.
The Congress had invited all non-NDA parties to formulate a strategy to corner the government on key issues.
The Congress has asked party workers to protest against the central government policies at all levels, starting with blocks.
The parties that attended the meet were in sync with the Congress strategy to corner the government outside and inside Parliament on key economic issue, Azad said.
RJD leader Manoj jha said the economy was in shambles and all the opposition parties should come together to raise the issue. Ajit Singh said the economy was a serious issue and efforts should be made to connect people to throw out the government.