No discussion held on 'PM post' during opposition meeting in Patna: Sharad Pawar
At a joint press meeting, the opposition parties said they would fight the polls on a common agenda and state-wise strategy, setting aside their differences with a flexible approach.
MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said there was no discussion on the prime ministerial candidate at the Opposition unity meeting held in Patna on June 23. According to Pawar, talks were centred around inflation and rising communal conflict incidents across in the country.
Pawar, who attended the Opposition unity meeting chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said the Opposition has decided not to project any particular face against the BJP and PM Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
A Maharashtra BJP leader in a caustic comment has remarked that 19 prime minister candidates attended the meeting in Patna. Responding to the BJP leader, the former agriculture minister said: “Choosing the PM face among the Opposition is not the issue at this moment, but to come together and defeat the BJP. Therefore, we all Opposition parties need to come together for the larger unity of Opposition against the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.”
He said since BJP came to power at the Centre, communal conflict incidents are taking place in larger numbers that have been disturbing social peace and harmony.
“We as an Opposition need to bring solutions and establish peace and harmony among various social groups,” Pawar said.
A senior Opposition leader, who was part of the Patna conclave, said it was decided that they will not allow the BJP and PM Modi to turn the 2024 Lok Sabha election into president style by pitching some face against Modi.
“We do not want to get into the trap of the BJP. We will fight the elections on an issue basis only. We are coming together to save the country, the constitution and its independent institutions that BJP has been destroying. Therefore, no particular face will be projected by Opposition as PM against the BJP. All leaders, including Nitish Kumar, and Sharad Pawar have clarified that they are no longer in the top post-race. They are here to save the country and its constitutions. Besides, we also asked other parties not to project or hurl the slogans against particular leaders to avoid confusion,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Kapil Patil, General Secretary of JD (U) and MLC in Maharashtra said that it was really a construction meeting. “In the Shimla meeting, the name for the Opposition alliance will be finalised besides the committees and subcommittees will be constituted to streamline the work and bring more anti-BJP forces together. Besides, there will be a discussion on a common minimum agenda for the Oppositions in polls,” Patil added.
‘Aim is to defeat BJP’
Choosing the PM face among the Opposition is not the issue at this moment, but to come together and defeat the BJP. Therefore, all Opposition parties need to come together for the larger unity of Opposition against the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2024, Pawar said, adding that ever since BJP came to power at the Centre, communal conflicts are taking place in large numbers.