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Rahul ready to compromise! Mamta, Nitish, Kejriwal or KCR… who will lead the opposition

New Delhi: Is deciding the face of the leadership the biggest obstacle in the direction of opposition unity? Why is the issue of leadership coming to the fore before the 2024 general elections? Can there be a consensus or a middle way between the opposition parties on this issue? For the last few days, there was continuous rhetoric between the Congress and the regional parties on this issue. There are two views in the Congress on who will be the face of the leadership in the effort of opposition unity. A section of the party and a believer of the Gandhi family is in favor of making Rahul Gandhi the face of the election. They argue that Rahul Gandhi is the single most established and natural face in the opposition after the Bharat Joda Yatra and the sustained struggle of the last few years. The second section is in favor of compromising on leadership in the direction of strengthening opposition unity. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi himself is of the same opinion.

According to a senior party leader, Rahul Gandhi is ready to compromise in this matter. On the last few occasions, Rahul has also indicated that he is not in the list of contenders for the post of PM. Other opposition parties argue that the Congress has to take a clear stand on this and frequent changes in this stand only create confusion.

Many candidates in regional parties
There is no dearth of contenders in regional parties for leadership. Some of them have declared their face directly or indirectly. In view of the 2024 general elections, TMC’s Mamta Banerjee, JDU’s Nitish Kumar, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and BRS’s K.K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s ambitions have come to the fore. In view of that, it will not be easy for the Congress to stage a platform of opposition unity.

Telangana CM Rao has clearly declared himself as the face of the leadership. Akhilesh Yadav has been talking about accepting the leadership of Mamta Banerjee. According to experts, this confusion regarding the leadership is the biggest obstacle in the direction of opposition unity.

advice of regional parties
Regional parties are strongly against deciding the leadership face before the general elections. All these parties are supporters of opposition unity but see limited role of Congress in it. Last week, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav advised the Congress to understand the power of regional parties.

The next day after Akhilesh’s statement, Tejashwi Yadav also advised the Congress to put full force in those seats where it is in competition with the BJP and leave the contest to them where regional parties are fighting with the BJP. Some other regional parties have also given similar advice. All of them want to fight seat by seat, state by state in the general election, in which instead of the face of the leadership, there should be an organized effort.

What should be the way forward?
Various types of proposals are also coming to remove the barrier of opposition unity on the issue of leadership. There is talk of finding a middle way in this. For this, first of all there is a serious proposal to make UPA stand afresh. There was also a proposal to appoint a non-Congress opposition leader as its convenor.

One such proposal came a few years ago for NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. At that time the Congress had opposed it. Now Congress leaders are softening towards this proposal. Sonia Gandhi’s activism has reduced now. It is proposed that this convenor will be responsible for ensuring one seat for one candidate. However, implementing this proposal is also not that easy.

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