Congress announces Opposition meeting after Nitish meets Kharge, Rahul
Efforts to forge Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls went a step ahead on Monday (May 22), when, after a meeting between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, the party announced a meeting of non-BJP parties.
Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal told reporters that the venue and date of the expected meeting will be announced in a day or two. He added that a “vast majority of the Opposition parties” will attend the meeting.
On Delhi ordinance
Also, in some good news to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Congress leadership has reportedly told Kumar that the party will oppose the Centre’s ordinance on control of services as and when it is tabled in Parliament for discussion and passage.
The Congress, which shares a sour relationship with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), did not invite its convener Kejriwal to the gala swearing-in ceremony of the new Karnataka Cabinet. But Kumar met Kejriwal a day later and supported Kejriwal’s request to all Opposition parties to oppose the ordinance.
Discussions are also reportedly on among Opposition parties on whether they should boycott the May 28 inauguration of the new parliament building on grounds that the government has not invited the President to inaugurate the complex.
Show of Opposition unity
According to sources, the Opposition meeting will most likely be held in Patna with Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav playing host. After meeting Kharge last month, Kumar has met leaders of a host of regional parties in his bid to bring them together on one platform with the Congress to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“The country will be united now. The strength of democracy is our message. Rahul Gandhi and I discussed the current political situation with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today and took forward the process of giving a new direction to the country,” Congress president Kharge tweeted in Hindi after the meeting.
अब एकजुट होगा देश,
‘लोकतंत्र की मज़बूती’ ही हमारा संदेश !
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) May 22, 2023
Kumar, Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah attended the swearing-in ceremony in Karnataka on Saturday in a show of Opposition unity.
Some regional leaders were not invited to the ceremony, but Kumar has been trying to bring them on board as well.
(With agency inputs)