Congress hopes 'secular forces' can take on Modi

Congress hopes 'secular forces' can take on Modi

Congress hopes 'secular forces' can take on Modi

Struggling to keep itself relevant in the Lok Sabha, the 44-member Congress has now pinned its hopes on “progressive and secular forces” in Parliament to present a united Opposition to Narendra Modi.

Aware of its reduced strength in the Lok Sabha, the Congress has assured like-minded parties of its cooperation to put up a cohesive opposition to the NDA which has 336 members in the lower house of 543.

At its meeting on Friday, the Congress Party in Parliament adopted a resolution which also expressed the hope “that all progressive and secular forces in Parliament will coordinate their strategies effectively so as to present a united and cohesive Opposition which is the lifeblood of any democracy”.

Interestingly, three parties who have members in double digits are AIADMK (37), Trinamool Congress (34) and Biju Janata Dal (20). While the Congress has no significant presence in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, it is the main opposition party in Odisha. Even in Odisha, the Congress is on the fringes having won 16 seats in the 147-member state assembly.

The BJD has 117 members in the assembly. The Congress has already started attacking Modi, who is scheduled to be sworn-in as Prime Minister on Monday. It has kept up the attack on the BJP for inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and reminded Modi that the ambience was not good for bilateral talks.

Besides, the Congress leaders are also putting together a list of promises made by Modi during the election campaign and plan to seek answers once the NDA government is in place. “We will be quite aggressive in Parliament and play the role of a constructive opposition,” Rajeev Satav, who was elected from Hingoli in Maharashtra, said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has also asked party MPs to keep a watch on the unfinished business of the 15th Lok Sabha, which witnessed regular disruptions. “We shall wait and see what will be the attitude of the new government to the pending Bills,” she had said. Gandhi also reminded MPs that though the party’s strength may be small in the Lok Sabha, it is the largest in the Rajya Sabha.

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