Oppn meeting makes case for unity

Oppn meeting makes case for unity

The Lok Sabha. PTI/FILE

Concerns over the lack of Opposition unity for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls ringed loud at a meeting of senior leaders here on Tuesday.

This comes hours after NCP boss Sharad Pawar in Mumbai said he does not see the possibility of a uniform national alliance as the political situation on the ground varies from state to state.

Incidentally, this event, conducted under the auspices of All India Quami Tanzeem, was organised by former Lok Sabha MP Tariq Anwar, who quit the NCP only last month protesting against Pawar's remarks on the Rafale deal, which he felt was against the spirit of the Opposition campaign against the Centre on the issue.

The event, called the 'National Unity Conference' was attended by former vice president Hamid Ansari, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, LJD chief Sharad Yadav and well-known BJP-baiter and Hindu seer Acharya Pramod Krishnan, among others.

Most of the speakers raised concerns over the "destruction of institutions" in the NDA regime and the need to fight the BJP together.

"If we fight, we have to fight together. If we do not come together, the fight will be futile," Yechury said.

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat drew a parallel between the mythical demon king Ravan and the Modi government, saying, "You need to become Ram to fight Ravan. Ram had brought everyone with him."

"Everybody will have to make adjustments for that. If we do not come together, people will curse us tomorrow and will say these are the people who made the mistake. We do not have to make that mistake. Everybody has to come together," he said, taking the names of Azad and Yechury, who were on the dais.

He said everyone will have to understand that this is not just the fight for chair and the 2019 polls have to be won by the Opposition, if democracy and the Constitution are to be saved.

Rawat's remarks reflect the unease of the old guard in the Congress over the uncertainty in forming alliances and the BSP's decision to contest separately.

Sharad Yadav, who has been bringing Opposition leaders together with 'Sanjha Virasat Bachao' conferences, said if the parties don't come together "people will push this unity", warning a divided mandate at the polls.

"Poison has been thrown into the well. If the well has been poisoned and dirtied, it is the responsibility of everyone to clean it and get the dirt out. Everybody has this responsiblity," he said, stressing there is an atmosphere of mistrust and that everyone is doubting everyone else's intentions.

RJD MP Jaiprakash Yadav underlined the need to fight the "hidden" power centre of the BJP — Nagpur, where the RSS has its headquarters. He said the Opposition parties have to come together under the slogan "BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao"