Saturday, April 1, 2023

No Opposition front is possible without Congress: Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh Tharoor

New Delhi, March 19: No Opposition front to take on the BJP is possible without the Congress and if a coalition is formed for the 2024 general elections, the party will have a central role in it, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said.
In an interview with PTI, Ramesh, however, said it was too early to talk about all this right now as the Congress’ first priority was the upcoming elections in Karnataka and the string of state polls this year.
Ramesh’s remarks come after both Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Uttar Pradesh’s Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) said the two parties would stay away from both the Congress and the BJP, and indicated possible talks with other regional players ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Asked whether the TMC and SP’s actions could jolt Opposition unity, Ramesh said, “The TMC, Samajwadi, people keep meeting, the Third Front, Fourth Front will continue to be formed, but it is necessary to have the Congress in the Opposition.”
“If an Opposition coalition is formed, the Congress will play a central role in it. No front is possible without the Congress. But it is too early to talk about this,” he told PTI.
First, there is an election in Karnataka. After that, there are elections in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram, he noted.
“This year, we will be completely busy with state elections, we will see about 2024 elections later,” the former Union minister said.
“Right now meetings will continue, positioning will continue… ‘I will form a third front, I will form a fourth front, I will form a fifth front’, all this will continue,” he added.
Ramesh asserted that a strengthened Congress is necessary for any opposition alliance, but the party’s priority at the moment was the Karnataka elections, followed by the elections in other states.
“Our (party) president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders will work on whatever strategy has to be prepared and carry out talks with parties regarding the 2024 elections,” he said.