Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 23:21 IST
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said the politics of hollow supremacy can be stopped only by the collective will of the people of India. (Photo: PTI)
Several Opposition leaders including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference supremo Farooq Abdullah, and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav were present at the event in Chennai to mark Stalin’s 70th birthday
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo MK Stalin on Wednesday made a strong pitch for regional leaders to ditch the idea of a third front and unite against the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. His remarks came as leaders like K Chandrasekhara Rao, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal are claiming to challenge the saffron party.
Stalin’s birthday celebrations became a stage for opposition leaders committing to fight the ruling party at the Centre and requesting the DMK chief to take a larger role in Delhi ahead of the 2024 polls.
Several Opposition leaders including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference supremo Farooq Abdullah, and RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav were present at the event in Chennai to mark Stalin’s 70th birthday.
Stalin said, “All the parties have to rise above differences and stand together as a united force to defeat the BJP in 2024. Talking about a third front is pointless.”
The DMK leader underscored electoral dynamics and the history of third-front performances to reiterate his point. “I humbly request all the political parties opposed to the BJP to understand the simple arithmetic and stand united.”
“Political parties should rise above differences and stand together as a unified force to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. Talks of a third front are pointless. I humbly request all the political parties opposed to the BJP to understand this simple electoral arithmetic and stand united,” he said. He urged his party’s cadre to work for the victory of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance in all the 40 seats, 39 in Tamil Nadu and one in neighbouring Puducherry in the 2024 polls.
He conveyed to Kharge, in his address, that a resolution passed at the recent Congress plenary demonstrating the party’s willingness to work with all like-minded parties was the “ideal birthday present” to him.
Oppn Should Put up United Fight Against ‘Divisive Forces’: Kharge
Kharge stressed that the primary objective of the opposition should be to put up a united fight against “divisive forces”. “All like-minded-opposition parties must come together in this fight against divisive forces. That is our desire. I never said who will lead, or who will become the prime minister. Farooq Saab, I am telling you-we are not telling who will lead or who is not going to lead; that is not the question. We want to fight together unitedly. That is our desire. That is why we have sacrificed many times in the name of secularism, in the name of liberty, in the name of freedom of expression. That we have done and showed, and we have also lost many times,” he added.
Abdullah echoed Stalin’s sentiments and said, “Let’s forget who is going to become the Prime Minister. Let’s first win the elections. Then, think about who will become PM.” Abdullah said the first priority for the opposition was to win the 2024 polls and that “let us forget who is going to become the Prime Minister.”
Asked about the chances of Stalin becoming the prime minister, Abdullah told reporters: “Why not? Why can’t he become the prime minister?” To a question on opposition unity, he said Stalin and the DMK have done very well. When the nation’s diversity is protected, then unity is guarded, he said. Tamil Nadu’s ruling party has done well in nurturing Opposition and national unity,” Abdullah added.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav praised the DMK president and expressed confidence that he will rise to national prominence. He said Stalin has done “exemplary work” for Tamil Nadu’s development as its chief minister.
“I wish him great health and immense drive to advance his unique pursuit of social justice and equality-oriented good governance. I am certain that he will rise to great political heights and national prominence,” Yadav added.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said the politics of hollow supremacy can be stopped only by the collective will of the people of India.
“We know strong and effective leadership can come only from a conviction from values of social justice. This is also an occasion to declare that it is a meeting ground of parties with social justice background… Parties in north India should learn and re-learn this continuously and prioritise issues related to social justice and the marginalised communities.”
(With PTI inputs)
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