‘No setback for Opposition unity’: CPI’s D Raja over AAP’s stance
CPI on AAP stance: Dismissing any negative impact of Aam Aadmi Party’s stance after the June 23 Patna meeting, CPI general secretary D Raja said that it was ‘not a setback’ for the opposition unity and stressed that the ‘small angularities’ on certain issues were being overcome.
“I don’t think it is a setback. In fact, in a way it is positive also, one should take it like that because we are all independent political parties, there can be small angularities on certain issues…but we are overcoming those and we have agreed to come together,” he said.
“What I understand is that they were present at the meeting till the very end and due to their travel commitments, they left,” the CPI leader added.
The CPI leader said that the secular democratic parties that have come together on a single are capable of taking a decision on any issue “collectively”.
Raja also described West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s participation in the meeting as a ‘positive sign’.
“The other follow-up actions will be discussed, we will cross the bridge when it comes,” he said when asked if the next step would be taken to finalise the seat sharing and formulate a common agenda.
“We all understand that the country is passing through challenges and the Constitution, democracy, secularism, and diversity of the country are all under attack,” he alleged. Raja said that all parties have agreed on fighting the elections together to defeat the BJP in the next year’s general elections.
Opposition meeting on June 23
The opposition parties on June 23 had decided that they will take the BJP head-on in the 2024 general elections at a grand meeting at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s residence in Patna. Following no outcome over the Congress’ support to the Centre’s ordinance against the Delhi government, AAP supremo who also attended the meeting left without attending the press meeting which took place shortly after the conclusion of the meeting.
The AAP had asserted that it would be difficult for it to be part of any such gathering in the future till Congress publicly supports it on the ordinance issue.
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Attacking the BJP for dubbing the coming together of the opposition parties as ‘opportunistic’, Raja claimed that the party has become desperate following the loss in Karnataka Assembly polls recently.
“The BJP is jittery and with every passing day their desperation is growing. They understand there is discontent across the country which is growing and the Karnataka election results mark the beginning of the defeat of the BJP at the national level. It is out of desperation that they are hurling abuses at the Opposition parties and undermining their efforts,” he claimed.
Raja said that the face of the opposition for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls was not an issue but the ruling BJP was propping up such issues due to its fear of the outcome of the next year’s elections.
‘Political parties are mature enough’
“Political parties are mature enough. We are discussing collectively, we will be able to discuss collectively who should head the government, right now these are not the issues and why is the BJP discussing such issues which we are not. It shows the desperation of the BJP and that it is afraid of the outcome of the forthcoming elections,” he said.
He cited the United Front government which was formed in the 1990s to keep the BJP out of power and said that the political parties are mature enough to decide on the issue of the prime ministerial face.
“One should know Indian history, when the United Front government was formed in the 1990s, how we had elected HD Deve Gowda and I K Gujral. Leave it to the political parties, they are mature enough, they are working together and they are capable of taking a decision on any issue collectively,” he said.
Asked about the state-wise seat sharing and electoral strategy, Raja said the Opposition parties have agreed to come together and when they are near the elections, they will discuss the strategy, taking into consideration the balance of political forces in each state and how to pull in the anti-BJP votes.
Raja said the message to opposition parties is very clear that all secular democratic outfits must strengthen their unity to put up a strong fight against the BJP.
(With PTI inputs)
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