Opposition Parties continue to pitch for Unity to take on BJP

New Delhi: Nation in anguish under BJP rule, says Pawar; NCP calls for opposition unity

BY | Sunday, 11 September, 2022

Ahead of the next round of assembly elections, the NCP on Saturday gave a clarion call for unity of anti-BJP forces and said that party chief Sharad Pawar would play an important role in this regard. Addressing the extended working committee of the NCP here, Pawar alleged that the Modi government was anti-farmer and had also failed to tackle the issue of unemployment. He also slammed the BJP over the release of convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

I am surprised that the prime minister speaks of upholding the dignity of women and two days later the BJP government in the prime minister’s home state reduced the sentence of those who committed atrocities against Bilkis Bano and her family, Pawar said.

The extended working committee of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also re-elected Pawar as the national president of the party. The veteran leader said that farmers were looking forward to getting a good price for their paddy crop, but the government has imposed a 20 per cent export duty on rice and banned the export of broken rice. The nation is in deep anguish and we will have to take up these issues vigorously at every forum, Pawar said.

A draft political resolution moved during the meeting called for the unity of like-minded parties to fight against the BJP and its allies.

Sharad Pawar has played an important role in bringing together these parties and putting up a united front to counter the NDA. We must strengthen this resolve and work towards the goal of opposition unity and make sure we achieve this successfully, the political resolution read.
Speaking on the political resolution, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said leaders across the political spectrum seek Pawar’s counsel on issues of national importance and the veteran leader will play a key role in shaping the politics in the coming times.

Addressing the meeting, senior NCP leader P C Chacko slammed the Congress for remaining in the old mindset and failing to recognise the changed political scenario.
Chacko, a former Congress leader, said the Congress cannot win a single panchayat election in Uttar Pradesh and only Pawar could bring all opposition parties together.

Assembly elections are due in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in December, while nine other states, including Rajasthan and Karnataka, will go to polls next year.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have also had talks with Pawar and the leaders have been pitching for opposition unity to take on the BJP.

Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, days after JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister met SP patriarch Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav as part of his efforts to unite Opposition parties, a poster has emerged at the SP office here with a message that created a buzz in the political circle here.

“UP + Bihar = Gayi Modi Sarkar (If Uttar Pradesh and Bihar join hands, the Modi government will be ousted,” reads the message on the banner which has photos of Kumar and Akhilesh Yadav waving at the public not seen in the poster.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar together send 120 (80 and 40, respectively) MPs to Lok Sabha, and the party or the political formation that perform better in these two states are in a good position to form a government in Delhi.

Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh, the man behind the banner, said Saturday Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have the history of initiating events that change the course of the country’s politics. “If these states decide (to go for a change), then nothing will be left (for others).

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Besides Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kumar had also met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, INLD supremo OP Chautala and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Kumar had said he was not looking to cobble together a “third front” but the “main front”.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 62 seats in UP, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonela) had won two. The BSP had won ten seats, the SP five, while the Congress had won one.

In Bihar, the NDA – then the BJP, JD(U) and the LJP combine – had won 39 out of the total 40 seats in 2019. Out of this, the BJP had a share of 17 seats, JD(U) 16 and Lok Janshakti Party of former union minister Ram Vilas Paswan six.

With the JD(U) walking out of the alliance, the NDA has 23. The Congress has one seat in Bihar and the RJD zero.


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