Opposition to unite on common minimum programme, hints Kharge

Participating in an in-house ‘Idea Exchange’ event, the Kharge indicated that despite differences, opposition parties may agree to a common minimum programme

Source: Congress
Source: Congress

NH Political Bureau

Admitting that people in the country are scared, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge hinted that despite ideological and other differences, political parties are united on growing threats to democracy and misuse of central agencies. Attempts are also being made to bring them together on the basis of a common programme, he indicated. He was participating in an idea exchange programme with the newspaper’s journalists.

In reply to a question at the Indian Express event, the Congress President added, “Businessmen are scared. People who want to support the Congress are scared. But we are not scared and we will continue to fight” for democracy and the people.

Elaborating on the nature of the threats to even individual politicians, he revealed having personally received threats from Dubai, Canada and Gujarat after criticising the government in Parliament. But although he had filed three FIRs including one in Delhi and another in Bengaluru, and written letters to the Home Minister and the Prime Minister, the investigation made no headway because the police wanted him to hand over his mobile phones first. After five years, action is still awaited, he informed.

The BJP, he said in reply to another question, had hijacked the people’s mandate for the opposition in as many as five states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur and Goa.

The feisty Congress President said opposition parties were united on the issue of threat to democracy, misuse of central agencies and autocratic trends. Inside the Parliament even the AAM Aadmi Party (AAP) joined hands with other opposition parties in formulating a joint strategy.

Asked why a large number of Congress leaders are seen to be leaving the party, he quipped that those who cannot walk 10 kilometres have left while those who have walked 4000 kilometres or can walk have stayed back with the Congress.

Reacting to a question that Congress is perceived as a family-run party, the Congress President pointed out that no member of the ‘family’ has held any position in Congress or UPA governments over the last 35 years. On the contrary, they have worked for the party and the people and sacrificed their lives.

Referring to inner-party democracy, he recalled the case of Veerendra Patil who had contested against Indira Gandhi from Chikmagalur in Karnataka and lost. But Indira Gandhi made him a minister, the PCC president and even the chief minister of the state, the Congress President recalled.


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