CONGRESS leader Rahul Gandhi Friday reached out to the Opposition parties, saying everybody has a role to play. “It is not that the Congress party is the only party,” he said.
Asked about the challenges in bringing the Opposition together, particularly getting leaders like Nitish Kumar and Sharad Pawar to rally behind it, Rahul said: “It is the responsibility of the entire Opposition to come together, and I am pretty confident… Everybody has a role in it. It is not that the Congress party is the only party… every body has a role in it. And that discussion is in progress,” he said.
Rahul’s remarks came a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her Bihar and Jharkhand counterparts Nitish Kumar and Hemant Soren, apart from the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and other leaders, would come together with the Trinamool Congress to oust the BJP from power in 2024.
When asked about the Bharat Jodo Yatra in the context of Opposition unity, Rahul said it may help bring together parties, but uniting them was a separate exercise.
“The idea, as I said, of this Yatra is to connect with the people, listen to the people, understand what they are facing and also communicate to them a few things – communicate the fact that India has changed. The institutional framework of India has been captured and there is an attempt to place one vision on top of this country. This country which has multiple visions… one vision has been imposed,” he told reporters, at a press meeting on the sidelines of the Yatra.
“The bringing together (of) the Opposition, this will, of course, help, but that is a separate exercise,” Rahul added.
The Congress leader has been nuancing his stand on regional parties from what he said at the Udaipur Chintan Shivir in May. In his concluding address at the Shivir, Rahul had said the Congress alone could fight the BJP and the RSS, and the regional parties could not do so as they neither had an ideology nor a centralised approach.
But, addressing a rally in Delhi last Sunday, he framed the battle against the BJP as a battle of ideologies, and argued: “The Congress party’s ideology and all our Opposition parties… together we will defeat the ideology of the BJP and the RSS.”