Press Trust of India

2024 LS polls: Opposition to keep aside contentious issues to take on BJP

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New Delhi: Opposition parties have broadly agreed to keep contentious issues aside and contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections together to take on the BJP, a senior opposition leader and former Union minister said on Friday amid efforts by top leaders of non-NDA parties to forge a united front.

Earlier this week, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi held a series of meetings, including with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and JD(U) President Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan.

During these meetings, top opposition leaders broadly agreed that they will go to the people with issues on which there is consensus, the leader said.

A proposal to form a committee, comprising leaders like Pawar, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav was also discussed during these meetings to reach out to political fence-sitters, the leader said.

Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party and Bharat Rashtara Samithi have not clearly spelt out their views on contesting the next Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the Congress and other like-minded parties.

A suggestion for a common minimum programme of the opposition alliance was also discussed during the meetings chaired by Kharge.

Rahul Gandhi’s strident criticism of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had created unease among the opposition camp with Shiv Sena (Thackeray faction) saying that hurling such insults at the freedom fighter will not help the Congress.

“By insulting Savarkar, the sympathy for Rahul Gandhi will go down. In fact, it will be difficult for the Congress leaders in the state to face the public as Savarkar is present in every nook and corner of the state,” read an editorial in Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ last month.

Another issue is also the Congress’ constant targeting of the Adani Group.

Pawar’s remarks about the Adani Group being targeted by “little known” financial research groups and the NCP leader favouring a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the group instead of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was seen as a divergent view from that of Congress.

However, Pawar later said he had merely stated his views and would defer to the collective opinion of the opposition favouring a JPC probe on the Adani issue after the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations against the Group. The Adani Group has denied all allegations.


Press Trust of India

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