The Congress must be the “fulcrum” of any Opposition alliance to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections as no coalition can be “meaningful” or “relevant” without it, senior leader Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.
The Congress general secretary also said that in his view, the Congress should be preparing to fight on its own in every state in the 2029 general elections.
In an interview with PTI, Ramesh said he would certainly put his weight behind doing another yatra from Gujarat’s Porbandar to Arunachal Pradesh’s Parshuram Kund this year but the party has to take a call on it eventually.
“I certainly have been giving a thought to it. Now, whether the party will or not (undertake such a yatra), I cannot say. But ideally, when the Bharat Jodo Yatra was thought of in Udaipur, there was also a thought of moving from west to east,” said Ramesh, who along with Digvijaya Singh, is considered to be the brain behind the Kanyakumari to Kashmir ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which will culminate on January 30 in Srinagar.
Asked if the Congress would be the fulcrum of an Opposition coalition, especially after the massive cross-country march it has undertaken, Ramesh said, “I certainly believe so. It stands to reason as we are the only national political party even today (besides the BJP).” “We may not be in power in state after state but if you look at the presence in every village, mohalla, block, town or city, you would find Congress workers, Congress families,” he said.
The BJP may be in power but in terms of sheer presence, the Congress is the only national political force, Ramesh claimed.
“Just measuring our influence by the number of states we govern or the percentage of votes that we get is a very narrow perspective. The ideology of the Congress is of the Centre. It is a Centre-Left party. Every party veers around to the Congress point of view, to the middle path, the path of consensus and conciliation,” he said.
“So yes, we are the fulcrum. If we are going to take on the BJP, it is only a coalition around the Congress (that can do so),” he added.
Addressing a press conference at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office in Srinagar, Ramesh said after the Yatra, opposition parties will begin the process of talks and political negotiations, but the cross-country march had nothing to do with it.
“Any opposition platform to defeat the BJP must be based on two realities – Congress must be the pivot or the fulcrum of any Opposition alliance, without the Congress, no opposition alliance is relevant or meaningful,” he said.
“Any Opposition alliance must be based on a constructive agenda, not just a negative agenda of anti-BJP-ism or anti-government-ism. This is not the business of the Bharat Jodo Yatra which has nothing to do with elections,” Ramesh said.
Any attempt to build a meaningful, winning coalition against the BJP must be pivoted around the Congress, he asserted.
With inputs from News18