Congress’ Kapil Sibal hosts Opposition’s top brass at a dinner meeting
Senior Congress MP Kapil Sibal hosted a wide array of Opposition leaders for a birthday dinner at his Delhi residence on Monday. NCP convener Sharad Pawar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, TMC MP Derek O’Brien, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, AAP’s Sanjay Singh were among key Opposition leaders who attended the dinner meeting.
Top brass from non-BJP parties including BJD, Shiromani Akali Dal, TDP, YSRCP also marked their presence at the power meeting to raise the call for Opposition unity against BJP as the key agenda.
While the Gandhis did not attend the crucial opposition gathering, G23 members including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Anand Sharma, veteran leader Gulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram participated in the meeting.
Call for Opposition unity
During the meeting, Opposition leaders underlined the need for Congress to set its agenda straight against the ruling BJP in order to efficiently counter the saffron party. In this regard, Omar Abdullah voiced concerns related to internal turmoil within Congress, asking the Sonia Gandhi-led party to get its act together. He also called on other leaders to support the initiative launched by Congress’ G23 leaders against the NDA government at the Centre.
In addition, various leaders stressed the need for a strong and united Opposition against BJP, particularly with just a few days left for the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament to conclude.
Sibal urged all Opposition parties to work with a clear focus. RJD’s Lalu Yadavalso pointed out that Opposition leaders must work together to defeat the BJP in the 2024 general election. Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram, highlighted the need for an understanding between regional parties in various states to put a united fight against the Narendra Modi-led party in upcoming assembly elections.
This meeting has come days after former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi hosted several Opposition parties for a breakfast meeting in an attempt to boost opposition unity to take on the Central Government on key issues such as the Pegasus controversy, farmers’ protests, and surging petrol prices.
Need for overhaul in Congress
Interestingly, there have been several calls from top Congress leaders for an overhaul in the party leadership to fix responsibility and course correction. While Congress’ internal elections were scheduled to take place earlier this year to appoint the party president, the CWC (Congress Working Committee)postponed the polls in view of the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Taking cognizance of approaching assembly elections in key states, Congress appears to be working on a reshuffle at the general secretary and state-charges level. At the same time, Congress is mulling on appointing a working president to assist the election campaign strategies alongside party chief Sonia Gandhi.