“Elephant Waking Up”: Congress Cites Yatra To Claim Driving Seat In Opposition Unity

Rahul Gandhi is main ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ however stays non-committal on get together chief’s put up.

New Delhi:

Calling the Congress an “elephant” that is now “waking up”, and “an important pillar of Opposition unity”, get together chief Jairam Ramesh has despatched some clear alerts to regional events on who can lead an anti-BJP entrance within the 2024 Lok Sabha contest. 

He did not title anybody. But his statements come when regional events have proven little inclination to easily rally behind the Congress. Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD has questioned the Congress’s “driving” abilities in at the very least some areas. “Congress should fight the seats where it is in a direct fight with BJP, but wherever regional parties are stronger, as in Bihar, it should let us sit in the driving seat,” he mentioned the day earlier than. 

But Mr Ramesh, at a press conference on the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unite India March) yesterday, confused that Opposition unity “does not mean weakening the Congress”. “Our allies should also understand,” he mentioned, “that we will not allow ourselves to be weakened further.”  

“I am happy that after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, everybody has seen that the elephant has awakened, the elephant is moving forward, and all parties are seeing what the Congress is doing,” he claimed. 

He mentioned statements will likely be made by the BJP and Congress allies, including, “A strong Congress is an important pillar of Opposition unity.” 


Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh at a press convention in New Delhi on Sept 12.

As for the Bharat Jodo Yatra, “[it] is not for Opposition unity; it is to strengthen the Congress,” he mentioned. The Congress has been saying that anybody from different events or civil society teams ought to take part.

“If [the Yatra] results in Opposition unity, it is good and we welcome it. But our priority is to strengthen the party organisation,” Mr Ramesh mentioned. 

Tejashwi Yadav’s current feedback present newer priorities for the RJD, and others like him, too. The RJD led by Tajashwi’s father Lalu Prasad Yadav — now a backseat driver owing to well being and authorized points — has been a steadfast supporter of the Congress and the Gandhis whilst others have switched sides on occasion. 

One of those that’ve been on the opposite facet is Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JDU. He is even being seen as a nationwide Opposition chief to counter PM Narendra Modi. And the best way he dumped the BJP, but retained energy — a sudden strike on a celebration that flaunts the way it adjustments governments — offers him more muscle to flex.  

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, too, has new vigour after defeating an aggressive BJP final yr for a 3rd time period in Bengal. It has the very best variety of MPs after the Congress amongst Opposition events, and is not eager on taking part in second fiddle to the Congress at the very least. Ms Banerjee was the primary mover for a joint Opposition candidate for President — in former BJP minister Yashwant Sinha, who was a Trinamool chief within the newest — however later did not assist Congress’s Margaret Alva for Vice-President, saying the Congress had “taken us for granted”.  

The Congress, in the meantime, can also be beholden to Rahul Gandhi’s stance — or the dearth of it — on the management query. Many who’ve left the get together have mentioned he would not have the power, and he has to date not agreed to struggle the get together polls due subsequent month, but he’s main the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the march that the get together says is the awakening of the elephant.

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