Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi (File | PTI)
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi (File | PTI)

Congress to continue dialogue for Opposition unity, says Gogoi

Though it’s unclear who will spearhead the Congress camp to coordinate with other opposition leaders, Gogoi said Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi may take part in the efforts.

NEW DELHI: In consonance with the consensus arrived at a ‘dinner diplomacy’ meeting called by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge last week, top Congress leadership will initiate dialogues with leaders of Opposition parties to strengthen the unity among anti-BJP forces ahead of the 2024 elections, said Gaurav Gogoi, Congress’ Deputy leader in Lok Sabha.

Leaders of 19 parties, including TMC, AAP and BRS who attended the meeting at Kharge’s residence, had called upon the Congress leadership to take the lead in broadening the unity achieved in the Budget session of Parliament and to chalk out the future course of action. Speaking to this newspaper, Gogoi said the Opposition parties needed to come together as Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification and eviction notice demonstrate that democracy is at stake.

“The recent discussions that have taken place inside Parliament and the dinner meeting at Kharge’s residence have shown that the initial steps have been taken. The next step is to take the momentum we have built inside Parliament. This is an idea that has been articulated in the past also by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. And we also have veteran Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, who in the past has worked or has shared the same political platform with the leaders of other parties. So, it is the logical next step in terms of dialogue with all leaders belonging to different political parties,” Gogoi said. 

Though it’s unclear who will spearhead the Congress camp to coordinate with other opposition leaders, Gogoi said Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi may take part in the efforts. “It is too early to talk about the roles. Party president Kharge will have an important role. As UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi enjoys a personal relationship with many political leaders, she will also have an important role. Cutting across political lines, every political leader has admired Rahul Gandhi’s perseverance during these turbulent times and the superhuman effort he undertook during Bharat Jodo yatra.” 

When pointed out JDU leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ambivalent stance on Rahul’s  disqualification and Shiv Sena (UBT)’s displeasure over Rahul’s ‘Savarkar’ comments, Gogoi  said, “The path to Opposition unity entails many steps. The ongoing dialogues show the common goal of defending democracy and constitutional values will be a much stronger unifying factor than our differences.”

Gogoi dismissed media reports that said Rahul’s disqualification evoked a lukewarm response in Wayanad. “The party is in the process of sending a letter to that publication for its malicious reporting. Not only in Wayanad, across the country, but people are also speaking up and realising that what is being done is unjust, dangerous....” said the leader.

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