Congress can’t fight only on 200 seats; Rahul’s close Jairam Ramesh’s message to the opposition

Congress and Rahul Gandhi are in headlines these days for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has advocated for Rahul Gandhi to be the prime ministerial face of the opposition in the 2024 elections. On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav and some other prominent opposition leaders have stayed away from the yatra, putting a question mark over the possibility of opposition unity. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh’s five questions and their answers to ‘Bhasha’ on various aspects related to this:

Question: How would you assess the impact of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’?

Answer: Overall, the Congress organization has got a new lease of life from this visit. In the states we have passed through, even where we have not passed through, a new zeal and enthusiasm is being seen and it is also being felt. There are also some states where ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ has been taken out separately… The main effect is that the Congress has got Sanjivani.

Question: How effective has this visit been in changing the image of Rahul Gandhi?

Answer: There has been a revolutionary change in the image of Rahul ji. The way his image was tarnished by BJP’s social media people, that thing has now become history. Criticism can come from anyone, but now they cannot say anything about Rahul ji personally. The way Rahul Gandhi ji is walking 23-24 kilometers daily, meeting thousands and lakhs of people, listening to them, it is an achievement for him (Rahul) as well as for the party.

Question: How do you see the big leaders of the opposition staying away from this visit?

Answer: I want to clarify that the purpose of the yatra was never opposition unity. This (opposition unity) could be the result of the yatra. We did not think of taking out ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ to bring unity in the opposition. We said that we have to strengthen the organization, we have to infuse a new life in the Congress party, for this we have to take out a yatra. Many political parties were invited, some came, some did not. The change that has come in the party due to ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, the change that has come in the image of Rahul ji, the new life that has come in the organization, opposition unity can be a result of that. We want constructive opposition unity.

Question: Is the Congress now reaching a position that it can become the pivot of the opposition?

Answer: I do not think so. Right now I only think about ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. I agree that if the Congress cannot strengthen itself, then opposition unity will remain a dream. Opposition unity does not mean that the Congress party will fight only on 200 seats (of the Lok Sabha). It is impossible. It can never happen that in the name of unity of the opposition, the Congress will contest only on 200 seats.

Question: Then does opposition unity seem possible?

Answer: The opposition parties should also understand that the only national alternative to the BJP is the Congress. There is only one option based on ideology. The opposition parties have always been taking from the Congress. Opposition unity means taking something and giving something. Till now Congress has only been giving, that era is gone.

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