25 Mar 2023

Could Rahul Gandhi's Disqualification Prove To Be A Stepping Stone For Opposition Unity? What Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee Said?

New Delhi: Leaders of almost all opposition parties have come out in support of Rahul Gandhi, after his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. They have accused the BJP of doing "vindictive politics".

The Congress said it will fight the battle legally and politically for Rahul. It has welcomed the opposition parties for issuing public statements condemning BJP for Rahul's disqualification.

Congress got support of parties like TMC, AAP

Significantly, Congress got the support of parties such as the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which had earlier said they would maintain equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress.

These regional parties have been maintaining distance from Congress and on many occasions they have averred that Congress would not be included in an Opposition coalition.

On the other hand the Congress had said that an Opposition alliance without Congress would not be able to take on BJP in elections.

Political observers were convinced that in the present scenario the possibility of an opposition coalition with Congress was only a distant dream.

Parties are rallying around Rahul who had earlier ruled out any alliance with Cong

But now following Rahul's disqualification even those parties are rallying around Rahul who had earlier ruled out any alliance with Congress.

However, it is too early to say that the present developments would lead to positive outcomes in the form of an opposition alliance. But some of those leaders who had in the recent past issued negative statements about Congress are now supporting him and Congress has also welcomed the support received from opposition parties.

Mamata Banerjee reacted sharply

Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday reacted sharply to the cancellation of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's membership of Parliament.

Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said, "Opposition leaders have become prime targets of the BJP in PM Modi's New India."

She alleged that while BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are included in the cabinet, opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches.

"Today we have seen a new low for our constitutional democracy," she said.

Conspiracy to eliminate non-BJP leaders: Kejriwal

Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal has also targeted the Modi government while defending the Congress MP.

Kejriwal tweeted, 'There is a conspiracy to eliminate non-BJP leaders and parties by prosecuting them. We have differences with the Congress, but it is not right to implicate Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case like this. It is the job of the public and the opposition to ask questions. We respect the court but disagree with this decision." 

Kejriwal's response came as a bit of a surprise to political analysts. This is because even before this he has remained silent on legal proceedings against Congress leaders especially Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson and Delhi government minister Saurabh Bhardwaj also defended Rahul Gandhi. He said, 'Opposition leaders are being implicated in different cases. By filing dozens of FIRs, the opposition is being told that if you raise questions against the government, you will be silenced. This is not right.'

It is now time for Cong to take on the job of building opposition unity: Ramesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said opposition parties have condemned the action taken by the government unilaterally with such lightning speed to disqualify Rahul Gandhi. The Congress has also welcomed the statements of opposition leaders and said it was now time for the party to take on the job of building the opposition unity in a systematic way.

Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party leaders including Ambika Soni and P Chidambaram attend a meeting at the AICC headquarters, New Delhi under the chairmanship of party president Mallikarjun Kharge following Rahul Gandhi's disqualification.

Jairam Ramesh said there was a consensus at the meeting that we should now take the job of building opposition unity in a systematic way. Everyday Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has been meeting floor leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he said. 

"So we are coordinating in Parliament and now coordination has to be outside Parliament," Ramesh said. "The Congress welcomes the statement of support of all opposition leaders."

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