Congress-led Opposition front set to take on BJP in 2024 polls

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has categorically stated that all Opposition parties in the country must come under the umbrella of the Congress to defeat the BJP in the General Election due in 2024

Indian National Congress flag
Indian National Congress flag

Dr Gyan Pathak

The two-day national convention of the RJD held on October 9-10 in Delhi has made it clear that the Congress will lead a united Opposition to take on the BJP in the General Election due in 2024.  

A categorical statement made by RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav to this effect is significant for several reasons, which includes adding steam to the ongoing efforts to forge a joint Opposition front in the country and leading to further panic in the saffron camp.  

The BJP has been on the backfoot ever since Nitish Kumar walked away from his party’ alliance with the BJP in Bihar, which sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha, and formed a new government there as part of the Mahagathbandhan.  

Nitish Kumar has thereafter been busy in his efforts to unite political parties in Opposition across the country against the BJP, even though he came across reservations among some of the regional parties in accepting leadership of the leaders of other political parties. In this backdrop, RJD president Lalu Yadav has taken a principled stand that the united Opposition must be led by the Congress. 

However, Lalu Yadav was wise enough in not spelling out the name of any leader from the Congress to lead such an alliance. The BJP can, thus, not target any such individual, even as the leaders of the Opposition political parties get elbow room to strengthen themselves in their respective states or regions without unnecessarily indulging in political feuds with the Congress.  

The options for the regional political parties are kept wide open for now since the question of leading the Opposition, more precisely the prime ministerial candidate, may be decided according to the actual results of the 2024 elections. 

The regional political parties including the JD(U) and RJD in Bihar, the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, BRS (formerly TRS) of Telangana, DMK in Tamil Nadu, NCP in Maharashtra, and the TMC in West Bengal etc may find this proposition convenient at this moment of time.  

Meanwhile, the popularity of the Congress in general and its leader Rahul Gandhi is particular has been on the rise ever since the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ took off, since it seeks to repair the damage that the divisive politics of the BJP has done across the country. This had become a matter of grave concern for all who love a society free of communalism, and which has vitiated the entire social and political fabric, making them toxic.  

As for the RJD, its founder Lalu Prasad Yadav was re-elected unopposed as the party president for a record 12th time. Though some discord among party members surfaced during the meet, they are in no way said to be undermining the move to strengthen the Opposition unity. In fact, the RJD executive has passed a resolution to strengthen this unity to fight the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.  

Speaking on the occasion, Lalu Yadav said that the time has come for all political parties to unite against the BJP under one umbrella, and that has to be the Congress, the largest Opposition political party. Any political party that doesn’t come forward with the Congress would not be excused by the people who are greatly suffering under the BJP’s rule, he said.   

Lalu’s statement has made it clear that regional political parties are not ready to give Opposition leadership to any particular regional political party. He has also made it clear that regional political parties are in contact with each other to decide the modalities of Opposition unity which is in progress.  

The RJD’s resolution has opened the door for Opposition unity led by the Congress at the national level.  

(IPA Service) 

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