More efforts needed for opposition unity

NationalMore efforts needed for opposition unity


A large number of opposition leaders shared the dais during swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah in Karnataka.

Amit Bishnoi

New Delhi: Efforts are being made to unite opposition parties to fight against the ruling Bharatiya in the Lok Sabha elections next year. A large number of opposition leaders, including former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and others were present at the swearing-in ceremony of the Congress government in Karnataka.

Besides, there was Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar. It seems UPA-III is in the making.

Hemant Soren, Chief Minister of Jharkhand where the Congress is part of the Government, was also present at the ceremony.

Siddaramaiah took oath as Chief Minister and DK Shivkumar as deputy chief minister.

Nevertheless, the efforts seemed to be half-cooked, many important leaders kept away from the event.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who was invited to the function, did not attend it. Former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were not invited. Lok Dal president Jayant Singh was present at the ceremony.

The Congress also did not invite Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagmohan Reddy.

It indicates that much more efforts are needed to bring more opposition leaders under one umbrella to give a tough fight to the present ruling dispensation in the next general election.

Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal has rightly said that opposition unity requires much more efforts.

In fact, before coming together, the opposition parties should have a common agenda, he said.

Sibal, who quit the Congress because of certain differences with the party leadership, became a Rajya Sabha member with the backing of the Samajwadi Party. He was a minister in UPA-I and UPA-II.

All those who attended the event are part of the UPA. The gathering of such a large number of opposition leaders indicates that there is a plan to fight the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.

It is, however, not clear how they will come together. Kumar has already met several opposition leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik. The latter has already said that his party will fight the Lok Sabha election alone. Before making the statement, he had a dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Efforts of opposition unity will remain incomplete without Yadav, Patnaik and Banerjee. The equations may change after the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

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