Rahul meets Sharad, says parties against PM Modi, RSS must unite

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday met veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav, who recently joined the RJD, and said “Opposition parties that are against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS should join hands”, adding “discussions are on to finalise the structure and framework of that unity”.

Rahul’s remarks have come at a time when the electoral compulsions have kept the Opposition fragmented. The meeting has come at a time when the Congress is keen on fielding a joint Opposition candidate for the posts of President and Vice-President for which elections are due later this year.

In principle, most of the Opposition parties agree that they should come together and field common candidates for the posts of President and Vice Presidents. Sources in the Congress said it will not insist on fielding a leader from the party.

Even in 2017, though the Opposition parties finally fielded Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as the joint candidate for the presidential election, in the reckoning were also Prakash Ambedkar, besides Congress’s Sushil Kumar Shinde and Bhalchandra Mungekar.

For the vice-presidential elections, the Opposition had fielded former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Rahul said: “In the Opposition…whoever is against the RSS and PM Narendra Modi, they all should come together. Discussions are underway on how they should come together and the framework has to be developed.”

Asked whether he discussed with Yadav the forthcoming elections for the posts of President and Vice-President, Rahul said “I don’t want to comment on that…”

Addressing the media at his residence with Rahul by his side, Yadav said, “Rahul Gandhi works for the party 24X7 and I think, he should become the president of the party. The Congress should make him president.” When Rahul was asked to comment, he said, “We will see about that.”

Rahul said Yadav had taught him a lot about politics and he considered him his “guru”. Rahul also attacked the Centre over price rise, social harmony and unemployment.

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