KOLKATA: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said the opposition stands united in the next Lok Sabha elections, which will be a battle for "India's soul and future", and wished success for the TMC's mega rally in the city on January 19.
The united opposition will resist "very dangerous tendencies" of the NDA regime which is "undermining our institutions, threatening our freedom and failing to deliver economic growth and development", he told newsmen here at the sidelines of a programme.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is very clear on the issue that the party "stands very much" with the opposition parties and thinks it must come together, Tharoor said and wished "every success" to the January 19 mega united opposition rally called by Trinamool Congress.
Gandhi extended his support to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday in a letter for her "show of unity" and hoped that it would send a powerful message of a united India.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and his party colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi will take part in the rally which would be attended by several well-known opposition leaders from across country.
Tharoor said the opposition alliance may vary from state to state and place to place.
"But the support that the Congress is expressing through the presence of its leaders (at the rally) here is precisely because of the conviction at all levels of the party that the opposition must resist the very dangerous tendencies we saw in last five years."
The opposition must stand together as the "next election is not just an election in an ordinary course. It is a battle for India's soul and for India's future," he said.
"There is clear perception in the country that this government which we have seen since 2014 has taken us in alarming dangerous directions, undermining democracy," he said.
Tharoor, currently the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, speaking at a function at NSHM Knowledge Campus said higher education is largely over-regulated and under-governed and advocated radical reforms to lessen regulatory pressures.
On a question by students, Tharoor dwelt on the issue of fake news and called upon the audience to cross-check any information before forwarding a post.
He said he too had made mistakes by taking fake news as real in the past.
"But I learnt the hard way and now I never forward anything without cross-checking," Tharoor said.