Congress’s P Chidambaram today dismissed the possibility of an opposition front without the Congress, insisting that otherwise all other parties are ‘one-state parties’ and will not be able to rally more than 48 seats. Speaking to NDTV against the backdrop of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s efforts to rally opposition parties for a united front against the BJP in the 2024 national elections, Mr Chidambaram said: politicians are invited to make their own efforts. in the face”.
“Except BJP and Congress, no political party in India can expect to get more than 48 seats. All of them are one-state parties,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
In opposition, “only the Congress is capable of winning substantial seats. Without the Congress, an opposition front will be like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark,” he added in a Shakespearean allusion.
Mr Kumar had met Rahul Gandhi on Monday, the first on the list of leaders he intended to meet in Delhi. Sources said the two leaders discussed the possibility of achieving opposition unity ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Mr Gandhi was in Kanyakumari today, launching the Bharat Jodo Yatra party’s massive mass contact program, under which he will march to Kashmir – a nearly 150-day journey across 12 states.
Asked about Congress presenting the rally as a program to connect with people instead of a political movement before 2024, Mr Chidambaram admitted that everything done by a political party has political value.
“The rally is politically significant. That said, it is an effort to make people aware that the country is heading for disaster” and make them understand the need for unity, he said.
Asked if this was yet another effort to revive Rahul Gandhi ahead of internal party elections due next month, given the focus on his outsized role, Mr Chidambaram said Mr Gandhi was already a leader since ordinary Congress workers “recognize and accept Rahul Gandhi as their leader”.
“I can’t say if the leader will become president of Congress. But he is a leader. The president of the Congress party cannot be decided by anyone but the workers of the party. The workers have to decide, and they are very clear in their minds that this is Rahul Gandhi,” he added.