On July 18, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said at the meeting of opposition parties here that there are differences “between some of us” at the state level but these are not ideological and are not so big that these cannot put them behind for the sake of people who are “suffering” due to policies of the BJP-led Government, sources said.
Kharge also referred to his remarks at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin’s birthday in March this year in which he had indicated that the question of a PM candidate was “not the question” and all like-minded parties must come together in the fight “against divisive forces”. “I had already told in Chennai on Stalin’s birthday that Congress is not interested in power or the post of Prime Minister. Our intention in this meeting is not to gain power for ourselves. It is to protect our constitution, democracy, secularism and social justice,” Kharge said at the meeting, according to sources.
Kharge had said in Chennai that it was imperative to take on “divisive forces” on a united front. He had said that Congress is not telling who will lead or not going to lead and that the party had made sacrifices for secularism, liberty, freedom of expression.
According to sources, Kharge told the meeting of opposition parties that the common man and middle class are suffering due to inflation, youth are suffering from unemployment and the rights of the poor, Dalits, tribals and minorities are being crushed “silently behind the scene”.
“We are aware that at the state level, there are differences between some of us. These differences are not ideological,” Kharge is learnt to have said.
He said 26 parties are attending the opposition meeting and they were in power in 11 states.
Sources said Kharge took a dig at BJP over the NDA meeting and said the party had suddenly realised value of its allies.
“The BJP did not get 303 seats by itself. It used the votes of its allies and came to power and then discarded them. Today, the BJP president and their leaders are running from state to state to patch up with their old allies,” he said, according to sources.
The Congress leader alleged that every institution is being turned into “a weapon against the opposition”.
“CBI, ED, Income Tax are routinely used. False criminal cases are filed against our leaders so that they get caught in the legal process. Constitutional authorities are used to suspend our MPs. MLAs are being blackmailed or bribed to move to BJP and topple Governments,” he said, according to sources.
The opposition leaders will discuss plans to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls during their meeting in Bengaluru. The two-day meeting will conclude on July 18.