Rift wide open in Opposition ranks ahead of Assembly polls, Parliament winter session

In Goa, the Congress and the TMC are engaged in a pitched battle with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling out all opposition parties to join hands.

Published: 26th October 2021 03:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2021 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

A view of Parliament

Representational Image. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The rift in the opposition ranks is widening ahead of the poll season as seen in Goa and Bihar, leaving a section of allies worried that this could only benefit the BJP which is in power in most of the poll-bound states.

In Goa, the Congress and the TMC are engaged in a pitched battle with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling out all opposition parties to join hands to defeat the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government.

Recently, former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro joined the Trinamool and was named the TMC vice-president. The Congress has only four sitting MLAs left from 17 in 2017.

In the last five years, its state chief and many MLAs joined the BJP.

While the TMC is looking to expand its wings in Goa and Tripura, the AAP is expecting to improve its vote share 6 per cent vote share in 2017 and win some seats this time.

After the TMC projected Mamata as face of the opposition, Congress leader P Chidambaram, senior election observer for the Goa polls, said that the AAP and TMC are marginal players and that it is trying to start a state unit by managing defection from the Congress. 

“The opposition is attacking each other rather than forming a joint front to take on the BJP. The division of votes will help the BJP in states where there is multi-party fight,” said a senior opposition leader.  

The last opposition meeting, chaired by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, was held on August 20.

Ahead of the Winter session of Parliament starting mid-November, the opposition leaders are expected to discuss common issues to take on the government in both the houses. 

Goa is not just a lone example. In Bihar, the over two decade old RJD-Congress alliance is in doldrums with AICC general secretary in-charge of Bihar, Bhakta Charan Das accusing the RJD not respecting the alliance by announcing candidates for Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur bypolls without even consulting them.

In response, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav questioned the utility of Congress as an ally in the assembly elections.

Congress seeks JPC probe against Facebook

The Congress accused Facebook of “influencing” India’s elections  and “undermining” democracy and demanded a joint parliamentary committee probe into it.

“Facebook has reduced itself to a Fakebook,” Congress’ Pawan Khera said, raising the purported leaked reports of Facebook not initiating action against hate speech.


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