CONGRESS chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday took his makes an attempt to rally the Opposition collectively one step additional by chairing a breakfast assembly with leaders and MPs of like-minded events. In his first such interplay with the Opposition with out Congress president Sonia Gandhi current, Rahul once more underlined a newfound readiness to imagine the lead in taking up the federal government in addition to reaching out to different events — two shortcomings he’s typically accused of.
On Tuesday, the fastidiously deliberate interplay over breakfast with round 100 Opposition MPs from 15 events together with the Congress, at Rahul’s invitation, was adopted by a shock cycle rally to Parliament. Earlier, Rahul had attended two conferences of the Opposition the place the events agreed to coordinate their protests in Parliament over Pegasus and the farm legal guidelines.
In the night, the Congress declared Tuesday as “a historic day”, saying “this is the trailer for 2024”. Rahul put out a video of his engagement with the Opposition leaders ready by his workforce.
At the assembly, he mentioned, “We represent 60% of the voice of this country… and we are treated as if we represent nobody. When the government shuts us up in Parliament, humiliates us… not just humiliating us as Members of Parliament… they are humiliating and shutting up the voice of the people of India and the majority of the voice of India.”
Seeking Opposition unity, Rahul added, “The more this voice unites… the more powerful this voice will become and more difficult it will become for the BJP to suppress it and the RSS to suppress it.”
Rahul’s outreach coincides with murmurs amongst Opposition ranks that secular forces ought to come collectively in opposition to the BJP, and never essentially look forward to the Congress to set its home so as and assume management. It comes days after Mamata Banerjee’s well-publicised Delhi go to and her minutely choreographed engagements with different leaders, together with these from the Congress, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s assembly with a gaggle of Opposition leaders at his residence.
But the bigger message from Rahul’s assembly was to his critics, together with in-house, who’ve typically mentioned he can’t fill mom Sonia Gandhi’s footwear in terms of partaking with seasoned Opposition leaders; that he’s reticent and unpredictable, and doesn’t get pleasure from a rapport with them.
That should still maintain true in terms of Mayawati, Pawar, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, or Banerjee for that matter (the AAP and BSP didn’t attend Tuesday’s assembly). But via the breakfast diplomacy and by attending Opposition talks in Parliament in the previous few days, Rahul has indicated he’s keen to interact with them. A high Congress chief mentioned the breakfast assembly was the “brainchild” of Rahul, with Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury deputed to ship out the invitations.
There can also be a aware effort to make the Pegasus adware controversy a problem of concern for the whole Opposition — with Rahul pointedly saying it was not about his cellphone being tapped. This is a marked departure from when the Congress chief had made the Rafale deal a singular battle between him and Narendra Modi — even going as far as to chastise personal get together leaders for not taking over the matter.
Leaders from the Trinamool Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, DMK, CPM, CPI, RJD, JMM, Samajwadi Party and National Conference, apart from the IUML, RSP, KCM and Sharad Yadav’s LJD have been current on the assembly, other than the Congress’s Kharge, Chowdhury, KC Venugopal, Anand Sharma and P Chidambaram.
While the cycle rally to Parliament was a shock for Opposition leaders, Rahul invited them to be part of it too. The cycles have been organized by the Indian Youth Congress and parked on the Constitution Club after they arrived for breakfast. Rahul informed them they might be part of the journey with him as a symbolic protest over the gasoline value hike. “It is completely up to you,” he mentioned.
At the assembly, the Congress chief mentioned that whereas the events current had totally different views of the world, coming from assorted states and areas, they might develop a “foundation of unity” inside which they might have “discussions and arguments” and comply with disagree. “We should remember the foundation of unity and it is important that now we start to come up with the principles of this foundation,” Rahul mentioned.
In a social media put up later, he mentioned, “When we stand together as a united opposition, no one can drown out our voice. I’m grateful to all the leaders who took the time to attend today’s meeting.”
At a press convention, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi mentioned, “There was one single word uppermost in everybody’s lips and everybody’s mind, and that is unity, unity, and unity. … It is actually a historic day because this is the trailer for 2024. This shows you the new resolve, the new direction, the new momentum and the new determination and grit.”
The TMC was represented on the assembly by Saugata Roy and Kalyan Banerjee, Shiv Sena by Sanjay Raut and Priyanka Chaturvedi, RJD by Manoj Jha, DMK by Kanimozhi, SP by Ram Gopal Yadav, the CPM by Elamaran Kareem, and CPI by Binoy Viswam.