‘Living in fool’s paradise’: Jairam Ramesh’s take on Opposition unity sans Congress

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said there can be no Opposition unity without the grand old party as its fulcrum, adding that those planning a front sans the Congress are living in a “fool’s paradise”.

While he did not take any name, the Congress leader accused “many regional parties” of back-stabbing the grand old party in the past to serve their self-interests and using the Congress as a punching bag.

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“There cannot be any opposition unity without the Congress as its fulcrum. That is fundamental,” news agency PTI quoted the Congress leader as saying.

“If any non-BJP outfit thinks any alliance sans the Congress can provide a stable government for five years, it is living in a fool’s paradise. There can never be any opposition unity minus the Congress.”

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress are among the parties that have opposed giving key space to the Congress in the past and criticised it on a number of issues.

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“We have said this before… there is ample evidence to prove that the AAP is the B-team of the BJP. If you look at its history or the background of its leaders, you will know it. Regarding the TMC, I am yet to make my assessment, but I think they, too, have Congress in their name,” Ramesh said.

The Congress leader said those who talk of opposition unity without the Congress only want to weaken the Opposition front and the grand old party.

“In an alliance, you give something and receive something in return. It is an understanding. So far, the Congress has been offering, and everyone has benefited from it. And after getting benefits, they have been trying to use the Congress as a punching bag to weaken it. This has to stop now,” he said.

He termed the Congress the “big elephant of Indian politics” and said no one should make the mistake of “writing it off”.

(With inputs from agencies)

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