Fri. May 24th, 2024

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'We Are Together,' Says Opposition After Congress vs AAP In Big Meet

“We may have some differences but have decided to work together with flexibility,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Patna:

All parties have agreed to contest elections together, but one more meeting will be held next month in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla to finalise details, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish kumar, who was the host of the big Opposition meeting of 16 parties, said soon after the four-hour-long meeting. Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK head MK Stalin were absent from the joint press conference, though Mr Kumar claimed they left because they had to rush to their flights back.

Even as the press conference projecting unity was on, the Aam Aadmi Party dropped a bombshell, saying it will not be part of any future Opposition gatherings until the Congress publicly opposes the Centre’s contentious ordinance taking away the Delhi government’s control of administrative services.

There were sharp exchanges between Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party during the meeting, sources said. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal sought the grand old party’s stand on the Ordinance issue, while Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge raised the AAP Chief Spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar’s allegation that the Congress is not taking a stand because of a deal with the BJP.  Ms Kakkar told NDTV minutes ahead of the meeting that they have come to know from reliable sources that “there is a consensus between Congress and BJP” which is why the Congress is not opposing the ordinance.

“Details including details of seat sharing and party-wise split will be finalised in the Shimla meeting,” Nitish Kumar said at the joint press conference.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the next meeting would tentatively be held on July 10 or 12, which will deliberate the strategy for all states.

“We have to fight the elections together in 2024. We have decided to throw out the BJP and are confident of forming the next government,” Mr Kharge said.

Rahul Gandhi raised the issue of alleged attack on democratic institutions. “It is a fight of ideologies. We may have some differences but have decided to work together with flexibility to protect our ideology. This is a process, and we will keep it going,” he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, too, asserted that the parties that attended would fight as one. 

“What starts from Patna becomes a jan andolan (public movement),” Ms Banerjee said, alluding to the iconic JP movement during the Emergency. She further said meetings in Delhi didn’t yield results.

“Three things have been resolved — We are united, we will fight unitedly, and our fight shouldn’t be branded as the Opposition’s fight but rather a fight against BJP’s dictatorship and their black laws and fight their political vendetta,” Ms Banerjee said.

“Raj Bhavan has become an alternative government. They organised Foundation Day for our state without consulting us. If we oppose them, ED and CBI is used against us. They send lawyers in court and implicate us in some case or the other, but they don’t talk about unemployment, common people, or the destruction of economy, atrocities against Dalit, or violence against women. They don’t give money for Awas (housing) or roads and recruit people in universities as per their on whims and fancies,” she added, and claimed that the country won’t see another election if the BJP returns to power.

“Let our blood flow, if need be. But we will protect our people…BJP wants history to be changed, but history will be saved from Bihar,” Mamata Banerjee said.

Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party head Mehbooba Mufti said things that are happened in Jammu and Kashmir are now happening in the rest of India. “The way people are being treated, especially the minorities, we don’t want Gandhi’s Nation to turn into Godse’s,” she said.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said 17 parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari have come together not for power, but for principles.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray said despite ideological differences, the parties have vowed to defend the country against anyone who tries to attack the democratic values. “I truly believe that when the start is good, then good things will happen,” he said.

CPI’s D Raja called the BJP’s nine years “disastrous for the nation”. People of the country are suffering, and the federal system of the government is under attack, he said. 

“We have to reclaim the Republic. We are of the strong view that BJP has to be defeated,” Mr Raja added.

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