The Congress is not interested in power or the post of prime minister, party president Mallikarjun Kharge said on Tuesday as leaders of 26 opposition parties got together here to discuss their strategy ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. In his inaugural address on the second day of the key opposition meeting, he said, "Our intention in this meeting is not to gain power for ourselves. It is to protect our Constitution, democracy, secularism and social justice".
He admitted to differences among opposition parties at the state level but noted that these are not ideological.
"These differences are not so big that we cannot put them behind for the sake of the common man and middle class suffering due to inflation, for the sake of our youth suffering due to unemployment, for the sake of the poor, Dalits, adivasis and the minorities whose rights are being crushed silently behind the scenes," the Congress chief said.
He said 26 parties are here together, and in government in 11 states today.
"The BJP did not get 303 seats by itself. It used the votes of its allies and came to power and then discarded them. Today, the BJP president and its leaders are running from state to state to patch up with their old allies," he said.
In his address, the Congress chief also alleged that every institution in the country is being turned into a weapon against the opposition. "The CBI, ED, Income Tax are routinely used. False criminal cases are filed against our leaders so that they get caught in the legal process. Constitutional authorities are used to suspend our MPs. MLAs are being blackmailed or bribed to move to BJP and topple governments," he claimed.
Kharge welcomed all the parties at the meeting and urged them to shed their individual differences to be together and take on the BJP.
Leaders of 26 opposition parties are meeting here for the second day Tuesday to chalk out their further unity plans and give their alliance a new name and direction.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.