Presidential poll: Nine parties join hands to take on BJP

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NEW DELHI: Nine Opposition parties on May 1 joined hands and called for a united fight against BJP and NDA government.
At a gathering on late Socialist Madhu Limaya’s 95th birth anniversary, they spoke of burying their differences in order to forge a larger unity against ‘the challenges posed by the BJP-RSS combine to the democratic secular and pluralists character of India and its Constitution”.
Many also said the upcoming Presidential elections should be treated as the first stage in scripting Opposition unity. If Samajwadi organizers invited Congress to signal how “anti-BJPism” has replaced “anti-Congressism” as the Opposition plank, AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh responded by asserting how the Congress-Samajwadi-Communist political streams, despite their differences have always been different from the “divisive and communal approach of BJP and Sangh”. “All progressive forces now must wage a united fight against BJP and RSS on basis of issues and ideology. It is important not to convert political fight into mere clash of personalities as the BJP and NDA regime are trying in order to divert focus from their policies administrative failures”, Singh said while recalling how the Opposition in the 1960s had lost to Indira Gandhi when they converted their fight against her into a fight against a personality.
Many felt Singh was underlining the tactical need to focus Opposition against the policies of Modi regime than making it a fight against the projected persona of Modi.
Singh said unlike Ram Manohar Lohia’s extreme anti-Congress stand, Limaya had praised Indira Gandhi on creation of Bangladesh. JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the anti-BJP unity of Opposition parties, already started in Parliament, is now expanding to the ground. He alleged under the NDA regime, the situation from J&K to Northeast to South has become tense and fragile as “BJP-RSS is insisting on imposing its ideological, political and cultural vision everywhere”.
“May I warn this government if its policies spin J&K situation out of control, it will amount to the success of Jinnah’s two-nation theory,” he said. Yadav also made it a point to praise Indira Gandhi for her role in breaking Pakistan and maintaining good relation with India’s other neighbors while lamenting how under Modi government India’s ties with most neighbors has become complicated.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the need of the hour is to pit “patriotism against RSS nationalism and counter Hindutva nationalism with Indian nationalism”. Maintaining, the policies of NDA government is challenging the Constitutional principles, he said the Opposition parties must make the upcoming Presidential elections the stage for united fight against BJP led NDA.

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