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Under heavy BJP artillery fire, Opposition scurries to strengthen self with talks of unity

Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi Opposition Unity: A wide spectrum of the opposition, now under stinging attack from the ruling BJP and the government agencies for alleged corruption, have begun to shed their ego a bit and come together to assess the nature of the challenge they face and possible solutions, at every available opportunity and platform. […]

Edited By : Lakshmana | Updated: Apr 9, 2023 12:22 IST
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Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi

Opposition Unity: A wide spectrum of the opposition, now under stinging attack from the ruling BJP and the government agencies for alleged corruption, have begun to shed their ego a bit and come together to assess the nature of the challenge they face and possible solutions, at every available opportunity and platform.

Today the platform was provided by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin who convened a meeting of the All India Social Justice Forum where most of the leaders who constitute the national opposition rainbow present either in physical or virtual form at the “offline + online” event. Other than this, Stalin is also following this with another platform – on April 5, Wednesday, the day when the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up for hearing a joint petition by scores of opposition parties against the alleged misuse of central investigative agencies by the central government.

On the menu of today’s social justice meet was the articulation of the Dravidian model of development, which promised inclusivity and social justice with the lowest, and the last man standing touched by development and growth. Stalin himself has been solidly pushing and marketing the Dravidian economic model as opposed to the ones that the central government follows, and or the “famous Gujarat model.”

Coming soon after the disqualification after conviction of Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case, the platform presented by Stalin attracted even Telangana’s Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti and Aam Admi Party and Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar also joined in – in an indication of the opposition unity index on selected few issues. Federalism and misuse of central agencies are two issues on which most of the regional political formations are of one view, even though in their dealings with the central government, their modes and approaches may differ.

It is clear that the Stalin platform was used by political parties to slowly shift the narrative and in this direction was the underscoring of the need for a caste census across the country. Kicking it off was Tamil Nadu’s chief minister who said it was needed to strengthen and streamline the delivery of development fruits among the deprived, for better data that would help in better delivery of governance to the masses.  Incidentally, this is the second opposition meeting he held today.

The DMK and Stalin stoutly deny that the meeting had any political purpose in mind other than taking forward the social justice movement, but this does not fool many as how the issue ranked high in Bihar where the ruling combination of RJD and JD(U) is way advanced in carrying out caste census, something that the BJP is averse to.

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However, Trinamool Congress’s Derek O Brien refused to shy away from politicking or announcing that politics was at the center of the meeting when he said, “We should not shy away from the fact that this is a political platform” and urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Jagan Mohan Reddy also to join in such forums.

“Two or three parties do not want to fight the BJP. It is not the time to be grey. It is the time to be black or white. We have a task…  I appeal to BJD that they should come together… Naveen Patnaik got to be here. Also, the YSR Congress Party,” he said.

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Among those who attended the conference included, Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot, and Hemant Soren, Former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and Telangana’s  Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party have also joined this time.

Read More :- Latest Cities News

First published on: Apr 04, 2023 01:40 PM IST

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