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Congress key to success of Opposition front against BJP: Tejashwi Yadav

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said in an exclusive interview to HT that “for the sake of the country, we have to discard our egos. Wherever the Congress is powerful, we have to strengthen it”.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2018 07:37 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji and Kumar Uttam
Saubhadra Chatterji and Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,Tejashwi Yadav,BJP
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav speaks to the media during a press conference in Patna.(PTI File Photo)

Third Front governments failed in the past because the Congress was never a part of them, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has said, adding that there would be nothing wrong in Congress president Rahul Gandhi claiming the Prime Minister’s post if his party emerged as the single largest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Yadav, who is emerging as a key Opposition leader as his father Lalu Prasad battles deteriorating health and a string of court cases, said the smaller opposition parties needed to strengthen the Congress, which was in direct contests with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 18 states.

“I agree (that Third Fronts have failed). But remember in those alliances, the Congress was not present. When the Congress came in the alliance, it gave us UPA 1 and UPA 2. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) ran for a full 10 years. The Congress is the biggest Opposition party. It is the responsibility of the Congress to take others along with them. Now, for the sake of the country, we have to discard our egos. Wherever the Congress is powerful, we have to strengthen it,” Yadav said in an interview with Hindustan Times.

Opposition parties are banding together against the BJP for next year’s general election, motivated by recent wins in by-elections across states. A combined Opposition defeated the BJP in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll last month by preventing the division of anti-BJP votes.

Yadav said if the people had made up their mind to “make Rahul the PM, no one can stop him”. “His logic is not wrong. Whoever is the largest party—like the BJP in 2014—has claimed the Prime Minister’s post. If some other party emerges as the largest, they too, can claim. Where is the problem to make such a claim?” he said.

On the issue of leadership in the Opposition ahead of the 2019 elections, the RJD leader said all parties needed to be respected and given their due share in “seat adjustments”.

“So far, no one has officially claimed to be the leader. Has Mamata Banerjee publicly said she wants to be the leader? Has Chandrababu (Naidu) or Mayawati has said so? I think the leadership issue will be decided after the polls.”

Also read: If people want Rahul Gandhi as PM, no one can stop him, says Tejashwi Yadav

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 07:32 IST