Kharge sets wheels of opposition unity moving, despite divergence on Adani


New Delhi: At a time when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, a Congress ally in Maharashtra, has expressed doubts over Opposition’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the allegations of financial irregularities levelled against the Adani Group, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge is leaving no stone unturned to gloss over the issue and project a united Opposition face in the run-up to next year’s Lok Sabha polls.

“I feel that instead of a JPC, a Supreme Court-appointed commission is more reliable and independent,” Pawar said.

Amid all these developments, taking the first step to unite the Opposition parties, Kharge recently rang leaders of various like-minded parties, including DMK’s M.K. Stalin, Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena (UBT), inviting them for a meeting in Delhi next month to formalise a common agenda.

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With Opposition leadership being a core issue as the Trinamool Congress, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and parties like the Samajwadi Party might not accept the Congress leading the front, Kharge has tried to clear the matter by stating that there should not be an obsession over leadership among the Opposition parties.

“The issue of leadership will arise when the time is ripe. It will be a collective decision. We will unitedly fight the polls as people are fed up with the Modi government’s policies,” Kharge said.

Also, on BJP attacking the Congress over dynasty politics, Kharge said that since 1998, no Gandhi family member has been either a Prime Minister or a minister.

“The Gandhi family has been agitating on people’s issues for the past many years while others are just enjoying themselves,” Kharge said.

He added that all the issues to be raised in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will be discussed at an appropriate time.

Meanwhile, BRS leader and Rajya Sabha MP K. Keshava Rao said that though his party has been politically distant from the Congress, it is with the main Opposition party on certain issues.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also said that he is waiting for the Congress to take the initiative to bring the Opposition together.

On Pawar saying that a Supreme Court monitored probe is enough on the ongoing Adani row, the Congress was quick to respond that it is his personal opinion and the entire Opposition wants a JPC.

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The NCP may have its view, but 19 like-minded Opposition parties are convinced that the Adani Group issue is real and very serious. But the Opposition is united and will be together in saving the Constitution and our democracy from the BJP’s assaults and in defeating the BJP’s divisive and destructive political, social and economic agenda.”

The Shiv Sena was also quick to say that Pawar’s statement will not cause any harm to the MVA in Maharashtra.

Although the first step has been taken for Opposition unity, there are still miles to go.

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( With inputs from )

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