Eye on 2024: Congress dials opposition leaders for unity

In hopes of forging an alliance with opposition parties, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge makes first move

NEW DELHI | Updated: 08 April, 2023 4:03 pm IST
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge

With almost a year left before the 2024 general elections, Congress has made its move to bring the Opposition together.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has called several Opposition party leaders with the hope of papering over the cracks in opposition unity.

According to party sources, Kharge has initiated the process of bringing together the opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

A party source said that in the last two days, Kharge has called the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Chief MK Stalin to discuss the opposition unity.

He even called Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar and former Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the opposition unity.

The source said that during his calls with Stalin, Kumar and Thackeray, Kharge discussed their views on Opposition unity and also discussed plans to begin the process of bringing the opposition parties together ahead of the crucial general elections next year.

The source said that Kharge will be speaking to at least 20 parties for opposition unity. He has already spoken to three people and in the coming days, he will contact several parties.

The source further said that Congress wants to talk with the Trinamool Congress, BRS, AAP, NCP, Samajwadi Party, RJD, CPI(M), CPI, IUML, JKNC, RSP, RLD, JMM, KC (Mani), MDM and VCK.

The source also indicated that if any party is left out now due to their busy schedule, Kharge, given the Karnataka assembly polls, will be connecting with them after the assembly polls in the southern state.

During the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament, the Congress cornered the ruling BJP over the Adani issue. The opposition parties have been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Adani issue.

The opposition parties have also come together against the government over the misuse of the central agencies against the opposition parties.

In recent days, the Central agencies had carried out searches at the premises of several opposition leaders, including TMC, JMM, RJD, AAP, Congress and others.

In the last few years, the Central agencies have arrested former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram, Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, NCP leader Nawab Malik, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, TMC leaders Anubarta Mondal and Partha Chatterjee and several others.

The central agencies recently questioned former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, his son and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti.

The agencies had also questioned BRS leader K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee.

The Congress, which faced humiliating results in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is hopeful of a good showing in the 2024 polls against the backdrop of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Adani issue.

The Grand Old Party has been treading carefully for opposition unity as there are several issues that need to be discussed before the polls, including the Prime ministerial candidate.

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