Without Congress, No Opposition Front Is Possible, asserts Jairam Ramesh

Without Congress, No Opposition Front Is Possible, asserts Jairam Ramesh

According to senior Congress politician Jairam Ramesh, no opposition front to challenge the BJP is feasible without the Congress, and if a coalition is established for the general elections of 2024, the party would play a key role in it. Ramesh, however, said in an interview with PTI that it was premature to discuss all of this at this time since the Congress' top focus was the approaching elections in Karnataka and the string of state elections this year. Ramesh's comments follow statements by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of Mamata Banerjee and the Samajwadi Party (SP) of Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh that the two parties would avoid the Congress and the BJP and may have negotiations with other regional actors before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Ramesh said, "The TMC, Samajwadi, people keep meeting, the Third Front, Fourth Front will continue to be established, but it is vital to have the Congress in the Opposition," when asked whether the TMC and SP's activities may shake up Opposition unity. "In the event that an Opposition alliance is created, the Congress will be a key player. Without Congress, no front is conceivable. Nevertheless, it is too early to discuss this "He said to PTI. He pointed out that elections are taking place in Karnataka first, followed by those in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Mizoram.

The former Union minister stated, "We will be entirely occupied this year with state elections; we will see about 2024 elections afterwards. Meetings are still being held, and people are still positioning themselves to establish a third front, a fourth front, or a fifth front, he said. Ramesh said that any opposition coalition must include a stronger Congress, but the party's top priority right now was the Karnataka polls, followed by the elections in other states. He said, "Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of our (party), and senior officials would work on whatever plan has to be developed and conduct negotiations with parties for the 2024 elections. When asked whether the Opposition's unity had been weakened by the TMC avoiding rallies over the Adani issue and the NCP's lack of fervent support, he said, "No, I don't believe so. I don't want to say any more than that; the TMC may have its own reasoning." He said that the call for an investigation into the Adani case by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) is shared by 16 major parties.

He said that even if the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) did not sign the letter to the director of the Enforcement Directorate, they were there in spirit. "There are 16 parties involved, and let me state unequivocally that a JPC cannot be replaced by the Supreme Court committee. The Supreme Court committee's rules of enquiry are narrow in scope, and only a JPC can reveal the entire magnitude of this political-economic fraud "On the Adani problem, he remarked. "Everything Mr. Adani has accomplished both domestically and internationally, he has done with the full backing, patronage, and permission of the prime minister. None of these matters are examined by the investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court "explained he. In reference to the Congress party's "Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun" series, in which it has been questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Adani problem, Ramesh said that the party has so far asked 93 questions and would shortly reach 100.

"Thus far, 93 questions have been asked. These kinds of inquiries, which go beyond the scope of a Supreme Court-monitored investigation, are very minute, sharp, detailed, and particular. Thus this JPC is really needed. The Supreme Court investigation is merely an effort at justification and exoneration; it is not a replacement "Ramesh made a claim. When asked whether efforts at a third front will weaken the opposition to the BJP, Ramesh said that the Congress is now focused on getting its demand for JPC satisfied. "Now, efforts are being made to make sure that our opinions are heard and that we are able to oppose the intimidation, harassment, and false information that are being propagated, notably towards Mr. Gandhi. Everything else can wait, "said he.

Ramesh said, "We have to do what we have to do," when asked whether the Adani problem will be felt by locals. According to the general secretary of Congress, the party has organised news conferences all around the nation, asked three questions every day for the last about 31 days, and will continue to do so. "While their comments were later removed, Mr. Gandhi talked extensively about this in the LoK Sabha and Mr. Kharge discussed this topic in the Rajya Sabha. Hence, we will keep doing what has to be done. These, in our opinion, are significant problems "said he. According to him, the House supports liberalisation and full incentives for private businesses and entrepreneurs. "Private investment, entrepreneurs, and startups will propel India's economic progress, but the Congress party is against this form of cronyism when one corporate group receives unequivocal preferential treatment from the prime minister," he stated.

Since the nation has to export goods more quickly, the Congress supports liberalisation and decontrol. But, it opposes the kind of reckless privatisation that we have seen in the case of airports. Ramesh said that if disruption rather than discussion were to become the norm, the opposition would have no voice since it is not permitted to speak on topics like Adani, China, or economic difficulties. "A parliamentary democracy's essential tenet is that both the government and the opposition must have a voice. We are aware that we lack the necessary number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, but we are not even permitted to speak "explained he.