14 Apr 2023

Opposition Unity: Congress, NCP Chalk Out Strategy; What Are Chances Of A Pre-poll Alliance; What BJP Said?

New Delhi: There is a lot of discussion about opposition unity in order to take on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as well as some forthcoming state elections. Speculation are rife about all opposition parties forming a pre-election alliance.


But what are the chances of such a pre-poll coalition and how it would work before and after the 2024 polls. Though efforts to foster an alliance have not yielded results in recent past, but the parties have realized uniting as a worthwhile move to stop the BJP in its tracks.


While there has definitely being a lot of progress in the direction of Opposition unity, the prospectus still seem remote as a large number of opposition leaders nurse big ambitions and egos.


Cong, NCP discuss strategy


Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday discussed the strategy on opposition unity to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier, Congress, Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had unanimously decided to bring 'like-minded' parties together and work together to fight against the BJP in the general elections.

NCP President Sharad Pawar held a meeting with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence  on Thursday and decided to work together in this direction. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi was also present on this occasion. Soon after the meeting, Pawar, who was accompanied by  Kharge and Gandhi, told reporters, "This is just the beginning."


'Need to discuss with Mamata, Kejriwal'


In a reference to All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) president Mamata Banerjee and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal, he said, "If Mamta ji, Kejriwal ji, or other parties with whom talks have not yet started, There is a need to discuss with them and bring them together. We will work in that direction."

While giving information about their meeting, Congress President Kharge said, "We will talk one-on-one with all (like-minded parties).  Sharad Pawar is also saying that we will meet everyone and move forward unitedly."

This is the beginning: Rahul


Rahul supported Pawar, saying, "This is the beginning of uniting the opposition. We all parties are committed to this process." 


Notably from Bihar, Chief Minister and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar had said, “We have decided to work together to unite more and more parties. All those who agree, we will sit together later."


Mamata's stand not clear

Mamta Banerjee has not yet cleared her stand in the ongoing exercise of opposition unity. The Naveen Patnaik's BJD remained aloof from unity efforts. 


Distant possibility of Opposition unity: Azad


Ghulam Nabi Azad in a recent interview has said, he sees only a distant possibility of Opposition unity. He said a coalition can be formed between two equals; it cannot be formed between two unequals. A state alliance is successful if one party can add to another party and vice versa. However, in many states, the allies have no presence. What does Congress have to offer the TMC or SP.  Nothing. There are many states like this. Then, in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, and other states, other parties have no presence and cannot help Congress, he explained. 


What BJP said?


The BJP has dismissed the opposition’s efforts as futile and unavailing. It said several different parties are trying to build a coalition against it ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP leaders said the party was voted to power at the Centre in the last two general elections with a decisive majority and does not see an opposition unity surviving the challenges of coalition politics and sees no threat to its appeal among people due to BJP's development with ideology efforts.

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