Rama Krishna Sangem
At a time when PM Narendra Modi is creating waves among NRIs and US congressmen in America, as many as 15 opposition parties including Congress met under the aegis of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Patna on June 23, Friday, to defeat him in next elections.
They resolved to unitedly defeat Modi led BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. These parties will meet again in Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh, on July 12 to take forward these discussions. Congress came to power in Himachal in last year’s assembly elections.
Of course, there are some differences among these parties as Delhi CM and AAP national president Arvind Kejriwal boycotted the press briefing of the leaders to register his unhappiness over Congress not declaring that it would vote against in Rajya Sabha the Centre’s ordinance giving more powers to Lieutenant Governor. But Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who was present at the meeting said, they will take a decision on it later.
The next Opposition meet will be chaired by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing the media after the meet. Kumar said that after the Opposition meet, 17 parties have decided to collectively chalk out a plan to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Opposition is the fight of ideologies. “The institutions and voices of India are being attacked by the BJP-RSS. I said in the meeting that this is a battle of ideologies and we are together against it. The Opposition unity is a process and we will take deep concerns into consideration.”
Expressing similar concerns, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah said that this is not a fight for power but for values and ideology. “From Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari, every like-minded party participated in the meeting. It is not the fight for power but for values and ideology.”
During the address, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that if anybody goes against the BJP, they “have to face the ED and the CBI”. She said the atrocities of the BJP cannot be tolerated anymore. “The BJP is controlling the media and they send lawyers to court and get cases filed against us under central agencies,” she added.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti said that the “Opposition will not allow Gandhi’s country to turn into Godse’s country.” At the meeting, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray said that the Opposition will continue to oppose anyone against the country’s democratic values.
I don’t consider myself as Opposition, but we’ll all oppose anyone who tries to establish dictatorship in India,” he said
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president and former railway Minister Lalu Yadav said that the “BJP has been fighting in the name of Hanuman but now Hanumanji is with us.”We are sure that the BJP will face massive defeat in the upcoming polls, he added.
BRS, YCP, BJD, TDP absent
Not surprisingly, four major parties – BRS led by CM KCR, YCP of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP of Chandrababu Naidu and BJD of Naveen Patnaik – were conspicuous by their absence at Patna on Friday. Naveen was never active on the national political platform, but the abstention of other three parties indicates fissures in the opposition unity. Both Jagan and Naidu in AP are pally with BJP, while KCR is maintaining equal distance from both BJP and Congress.