Ahead Of Presidential Elections, Rahul Rallies Opposition
Vijayawada: The success of the Congress-sponsored all-party meeting at Guntur on Special Category Status (SCS) leaves an impression that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has started the exercise to keep the non-BJP parties together. The very presence of the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh, JDU chief Sharad Yadav, Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD leader Jaya Prakash Yadav, Tamil Nadu’s DMK leader Elangovan and CPI secretary general Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy at the Guntur meeting shows the unity efforts of Rahul Gandhi. The meeting also had the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamatha Benerjee’s TMC, Maharastra’s strong man Sharad Pawar’s NCP, the CPI-M, Jammu-Kashmir’s Farooq Abdulla’s National Conference and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena add the strength of the Opposition that Rahul Gandhi is targeting.
While the UP elections have brought the Congress and SP together, the Guntur meeting had broadened the Opposition unity with more parties joining the Congress. The DMK in Tamil Nadu is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the death of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa and is determined to return to power soon. It is now moving close to the Congress to prevent the BJP take advantage of the squabbles in the AIADMK. The alliance with the Congress, thus, seems to be more important for the DMK than the Congress and that made Rahul’s plans easy to have DMK in his pocket. The Left which is strong in Kerala is already with the Congress as CPI-M is supporting the Congress in its fight against the mighty BJP. Sources said that Rahul is seriously trying for an alliance with the Kumara Swamy’s JD (S) in Karnataka that would give a clear base for the Congress in the south. In Andhra Pradesh and the Telangana, the Congress is already with the Left parties to fight against the TDP and TRS in the next elections.
In north, the SP in UP, RJD in Bihar, NCP in Maharastra, National Conference in Jammu-Kashmir, besides others, is giving a comfortable base for the Congress for the next round of elections. These parties, besides the Congress and the Left, are convinced of the political compulsion that is required to beat the BJP, particularly in the light of demonetization and the proposed ban on meat.
Rahul Gandhi, besides pressing for the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, had also stressed the need for non-BJP and non-NDA to come together and the unity efforts are set to start from the Presidential elections due in two months from now.