ISKCON unit threatens defamation case against BJP MP Maneka Gandhi for her remarks against temple body
Open friction and disunity in Opposition? as TMC leader says Congress trying to move alone
New Delhi: The Opposition, which is looking to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, seems to be running on diverging tracks with the Congress launching its own campaigns to reach out to the people and various other leaders speculated as the aspirants of prime ministerial contest holding their separate rallies.
The latest in this episode was evident which suggests disunity in the Opposition was a mega rally by Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) which was attended by several political parties at Khammam earlier this week, followed by Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh's allegation on Congress. Ghosh on Saturday alleged that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee batted for a coordination team between Opposition parties and a joint program in other states, however, Congress "did not respond to it" in its attempt to "move alone".
"WB CM proposed that there should be a coordination team between Opposition parties and a joint program in other states, especially in BJP-ruled states, but Congress didn't respond (to it). They're trying to move alone," he alleged while remarking on the party's follow-up campaign to Bharat Jodo Yatra, named as 'Haath se Haath jodo'.
"Congress has failed in many state polls and in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. So the scientific methodological Opposition mechanism should be made according to WB CM Mamata Banerjee's proposal. Hope Congress understands this," he added.
This comes at a time when political parties, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, are formulating strategies for the upcoming polls. KCR, who renamed his Telangana Rashtra Samithi as Bharat Rashtra Samithi last year held his first mega rally in which various political leaders were present on the stage as a show of Opposition unity. However, some major names who are considered to be prime ministerial aspirants were missing from the dias.
The rally was attended by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal who is also seen to be in the fray among the Opposition leaders in the race to the top post, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and CPI general secretary D Raja.
The prominent name which was missing from the stage was Mamata Banerjee who is advocating for a united Opposition, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who though has denied having any Prime Ministerial ambitions on several occasions, is also being seen as part of the aspiring flock.
Kumar, on January 19, said that he was not aware of the mega rally by KCR in Telangana as he was "busy with some other work".
He went on to call the KCR rally a "rally of the party".
Nitish Kumar's ally Rashtriya Janata Dal also was missing from the mega event, though Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav had hosted KCR last year in Patna where they held a discussion at length on the Opposition unity.
However, it is notable that KCR, during his visit to Patna last year, responded to a question if Nitish Kumar could be a runner and challenger to the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024, and said that this would be decided by the Opposition leaders.
Notably, the missing of both of the leaders from the KCR rally could be seen as yet another testimony of friction in the Opposition in regard to unity. This comes days after Kumar said that he has "no problem" with Rahul Gandhi's candidature as the PM candidate in 2024.
KCR's rally, which is speculated to be an attempt to bring together "non-Congress" parties on a page, is also seen as a major step towards a "third front". (ANI)