Opposition’s New ‘Resolution’ After Uddhav Thackeray Backs Out Of Meet
The opposition leaders will steer clear of commenting on sensitive topics like VD Savarkar, the Congress and representatives of 17 parties present at a strategy meet this evening have decided. The absence of Uddhav Thackeray loomed large over the dinner meet at Mallikarjun Kharge’s home. Mr Thackeray — upset over Rahul Gandhi’s comment on VD Savarkar — had pulled out of the meet earlier this evening.
“My name is not Savarkar, won’t apologise,” was Mr Gandhi’s response after he got a two-year jail term over his over his comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname and was disqualified as an MP.
The statement has deeply offended Mr Thackeray’s party, which had objected earlier too about Mr Gandhi’s comments on the right-wing icon. This evening, Mr Thackeray warned of a rift in the Opposition alliance in Maharashtra if Mr Gandhi did not “stop insulting our God”.
“I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that we have come together, that’s right, we have come together to save democracy and constitution in this country. But do not make any statements that will create fissures,” he had said.
Sources said at the dinner meet, the Congress had indicated that it would take into account feelings of like-minded parties. Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi were also present at the meet and Mr Gandhi was one of the speakers, sources said.
Besides the Congress, members of the DMK, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, Telangana’s ruling Bharat Raksha Samithi, RS, CPM, CPI, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, MDMK, KC, TMC, RSP, RJD, J&K NC, IUML, VCK, SP, JMM were present at the meet.
The guest list was a reminder of the opposition’s rare gesture of rallying around Mr Gandhi at a critical moment. But his unfiltered comments had upset the Maharashtra ally, leading to the prompt damage control measure, sources indicated.
Many of the opposition leaders, however, made it clear that this was an issue-based support to the Congress and not a gesture to be read in the context of the 2024 general elections.
“The question of walking together is due symbolism, which we undertook today – a special mark of solidarity against coordinated and undemocratic attacks on everyone,” Trinamool’s Jawahar Sircar had said.
The Congress, however, spoke of a broader agenda.
“Tonight floor leaders of 18 Oppn parties met at the residence of kharge ji and with ONE voice decided to continue with their campaign against the Modi regime that is destroying democracy & that has subverted all institutions. They expressed their collective resolve to combat Modi’s politics of fear & intimidation. This resolve will be reflected in joint actions outside Parliament beginning NOW,” tweeted the party’s communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh.