No opposition front possible without Congress: Jairam Ramesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said that any opposition front to take on the BJP is not possible without the Congress and if an alliance is formed for the 2024 general elections, the party will play a central role in it.

However, in an interview with PTI, Ramesh said that it is too early to talk about all this as the Congress’s first priority is the upcoming elections in Karnataka and the state elections later this year.

Ramesh’s comments came after both Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Uttar Pradesh’s Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) said that the two parties would stay away from both the Congress and the BJP and potentially tie up with other regional players. conversation is indicated. 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

When asked whether the actions of TMC and SP could give a jolt to the opposition unity, Ramesh said, “TMC, Samajwadi, people keep meeting, third front, fourth front will continue to form, but it is necessary to have Congress in the opposition. ” “If the opposition alliance is formed, the Congress will play a central role in it. No front is possible without the Congress. But it is too early to talk about it,” he told PTI.

He said that first there is election in Karnataka, then there are elections in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. “This year, we will be fully engaged in the state elections, we will look at the 2024 polls later,” the former Union minister said.

“Right now the meetings will continue, the positioning will continue…’I will make a third front, I will make a fourth front, I will make a fifth front’, all this will continue,” he said.

Ramesh stressed that a strong Congress is essential for any opposition alliance, but for now the party’s priority is the Karnataka elections, followed by elections in other states. “Our (party) president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders will work out whatever strategy has to be chalked out and hold talks with parties regarding the 2024 polls,” he said.

Asked whether opposition unity has been affected by TMC’s staying away from opposition protests on the Adani issue and not coming out in support of NCP, he said, “No, I don’t think so. TMC may have its own logic, I don’t want to say anything more than that.” He said 16 political parties are united in demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani case. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) The director of the Enforcement Directorate did not sign the letter, but he was with us in spirit if not in body, he said.

“There are 16 parties and I want to say one thing very clearly that the Supreme Court committee is not an alternative to the JPC. The terms of reference of the Supreme Court committee are limited in scope, it is only a JPC that can uncover the full dimensions of this politico-economic scam,” he said on the Adani issue.

“Whatever Adani has done in India and abroad, he has done with the full blessings, support and patronage of the Prime Minister. The investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court is not going on any of these issues. ‘ series under which she has been asking questions to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Adani issue

“We have raised 93 questions so far. These kinds of questions which are very subtle, pointed, granular, specific are beyond the terms of reference of a Supreme Court monitored inquiry. That’s why this JPC is absolutely necessary. Supreme Court inquiry is not an option, it is only an attempt to legitimize and acquit,” alleged Ramesh.

Asked whether the fight against the BJP would be weakened by the efforts of a third front, Ramesh said the Congress is currently focused on fulfilling its JPC demand. “Right now efforts are being made to ensure that our voices are heard and this false propaganda and rumors that are being spread, this intimidation, this harassment that is being directed against Mr. Gandhi in particular, we are trying to counter. are capable. All other issues can wait,” he said.

Asked whether Adani’s issue would resonate with people on the ground, Ramesh said, “We have to do what we have to do.” The party held press conferences across the country, raised three questions daily in the last nearly 31 days and will continue to raise them, the Congress general secretary said.

“Mr Gandhi has spoken extensively on this in the Lok Sabha, Mr Kharge has raised these issues extensively in the Rajya Sabha, though his comments were later expunged. So we will keep doing what we have to do. We believe these are fundamental issues.”

He said that Congress believes in liberalization and giving full encouragement to private companies and private entrepreneurs.

“India’s economic growth is being fueled by private investment, entrepreneurs, startups, but the Congress party is against this type of cronyism, where a business group gets absolute preferred treatment from the prime minister,” he said. .

The Congress wants liberalisation, deregulation because the country needs fast exports, needs large amount of private investment, but it is against the kind of blind privatization that we have seen in the case of airports, he said. On disruption instead of debate becoming the norm, Ramesh said the opposition does not have a say as it is not allowed to discuss issues like Adani, China as well as economic matters.

“One of the fundamental rules of parliamentary democracy is that the opposition must have its say and the government must obey. We know we don’t have the numbers in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but we are not even allowed to speak.”

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)