Lok Sabha Election 2024: Lok Sabha MP and Senior Congress leader Shash Tharoor on Monday encouraged smaller parties to play convenor of the Opposition alliance in the 2024 polls. He asserted that Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha following his conviction in a 2019 'Modi surname' defamation case has resulted in a "surprising wave of Opposition unity" with many parties having begun to feel the truth of the adage -- “united we stand, divided we fall”.
"Wave of Opposition unity"
Welcoming the recent "wave of Opposition unity", Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the Congress will "de facto" be the fulcrum around which other parties converge, but asserted that if he were in the party leadership, he would not "crow about it" and encourage one of the smaller outfits to play the role of convenor of an alliance to take on the BJP in the 2024 general election.
Opposition parties have found new reason to come together
In an interview with PTI, the former Union minister also said if most of the Opposition parties have now found a new reason to come together and stop dividing each other's vote, the BJP might find it much harder to win a majority in the 2024 elections. Asked about Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's 'thank you Germany' tweet after that country took note of Gandhi's disqualification, Tharoor said he would have advised his senior party colleague not to say what he did.
"The international attention - and the negative press for India - should not surprise Mr (Narendra) Modi and his government. Doubts about the democratic credentials of this government have been growing for some years, as is evident from the global media," he said. "Still, I would have advised my highly respected senior colleague and friend not to say what he did. It has always been an article of faith for the Congress party that we do not require or accept any foreign tutelage after 200 years of subjection to colonial rule," Tharoor stressed.
"People of India will vote for democracy"
That pride is deeply ingrained in every Indian, he said, asserting that we are perfectly capable of solving our own problems. "I am confident the people of India will vote for democracy and the right to determine who rules them," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
On Gandhi's disqualification and the ensuing display of Opposition unity, Tharoor said the judgment has generated a "surprising and welcome wave of Opposition unity", as regional parties traditionally opposed the Congress in their states - AAP in Delhi, TMC in West Bengal, Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Bharat Rashtra Samithi in Telangana, CPIM in Kerala - have come out in his support.
"Many have begun to feel the truth of the adage 'united we stand, divided we fall'; if they don't back Rahul now, they could be picked off one by one themselves, by a 'vengeful' government," he said.
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