Bharat Jodo 2.0 and Kharge for PM: INDIA bloc plans moves to snatch momentum from BJP


Congress Party President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Rahul Gandhi, and KC Venugopal during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday (ANI)

Congress says seat-sharing talks would start without delay; Mamata Banerjee says she is ready for joint campaigning and she was willing to rally for any bloc parties

Our Bureau
New Delhi

Congress leaders have requested Rahul Gandhi to embark on a second ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from East to West, Congress MP KC Venugopal said on Thursday. He added that the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, also supported the idea.

“In the CWC meeting, the Congress president initially told Rahul Gandhi that he’s getting massive opinions from the party workers and leaders from all over India that Rahul Gandhi should do a second Yatra from east to west. After that, all the CWC members, unanimously also requested Rahul Gandhi to do the Yatra,” Venugopal said. “The details of the Yatra and the decision of the Yatra will be taken without any delay,” he added.

Earlier, the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started in Kanyakumari on September 7 last year and was led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, concluded on January 30 in Srinagar after covering 3,970 km, 12 states, and two Union territories and having lasted more than 130 days.

In the first leg of the yatra, Gandhi had walked almost 4,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The impact of Rahul Gandhi’s yatra was seen during the polls in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, as they recorded a sharp increase in strike rate and vote share.

When asked about forming alliance with INDIA bloc allies at the state level, the Congress MP said that an alliance committee has been formed and the committee will take the decision. “Alliance committee has been formed. They will discuss with the state units and they will find out the mechanism to do an alliance with the INDIA alliance parties,” he said.

“The mood of the country now is against BJP…We are very much convinced that Congress and INDIA alliance is going to fight against this dictatorship and rule,” he added.

The fourth meeting of the ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc took place in the national capital Tuesday and was attended by leaders from 28 alliance partners.

Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters after the meeting yesterday that the seat-sharing talks would start without delay and there was a proposal for “joint rallies” also.

Earlier this week, Mamata Banerjee also said she was ready for joint campaigning and she was willing to rally for any India bloc parties.

Meanwhile, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s name was proposed as the prime ministerial candidate for the INDIA bloc by Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal in the just-held meeting in the national, where all 28 partners have converged to chalk plans for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first to propose the name of the Congress President as the prospective PM face of the INDIA alliance.

” Everyone was asking us who is the face of the alliance. I proposed Kharge’s name and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also backed my proposal. We have no objection to this and we are happy that Kharge will be the face of the alliance, I have no such news of anyone being unhappy with this decision” said Mamata Banerjee while speaking to reporters.

CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP, Bikash Ranjan said, “It should have happened. Congress is a pan-India party. Congress & CPI(M) has its existence in every corner of the country…There is acceptance for Mallilkarjun Kharge as well…”

Kharge has over 50 years of political experience under his belt. Kharge rose from the ranks of a grassroot worker to become the chief of that party and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

But, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has played down suggestions about being the prime ministerial candidate of the INDIA bloc for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and said the matter will be decided later and their priority is to try and get a majority. “First, all of us have to win, we should think about what needs to be done for victory. Who will be PM, this will be decided later. If there are fewer MPs, what is the point of talking about the PM? First, to increase our numbers, (by) coming together, we will try to bring the majority. First, we will have to win,” Kharge told reporters after the INDIA meeting on Tuesday.

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