Stalin: 2024 unity call at Stalin birthday: Parties say PM face not issue, need to fight BJP | India News


CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK president MK Stalin’s 70th birthday turned out to be a virtual launchpad for yet another initiative to get a few among the major non-BJP parties on the same page for the 2024 elections – in principle, if not as part of a front.
While Stalin discarded the very idea of a third front and called for opposition unity, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge said a joint prime ministerial candidate wasn’t the priority; defeating BJP is.
Sharing the dais at Wednesday’s event were National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav. Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and her Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao were conspicuous by their absence. DMK sources said only four major parties were invited.
Stalin, who spoke last, was upfront about why he thinks a larger alliance wouldn’t work. “Talk of a third front is pointless. I request all the parties opposed to BJP to understand this simple electoral arithmetic and stand united,” he said. “This is not my birthday meeting, it’s the inaugural event for India’s new politics,” he said.
Turning to Kharge, Stalin said one of the resolutions of the 85th plenary session of Congress — that it was ready to work with like-minded parties — was the “ideal birthday gift” for him. “The 2024 general elections are not about who should win, but about who shouldn’t win,” he said.
“We must defeat BJP, which is trying to divide a united India by communal fascism and turn it into an autocracy,” he said.
Parties should realise that allowing local differences to decide national politics would do only harm to them, the CM advised. “I am saying this to all, including Congress,” he said.
Kharge, too, called for unity to begin with. “I never said who will lead, who will become the Prime Minister. I am telling you that we want to fight together,” he said.
“Today, the country is going through difficult times. The common man is hit by inflation. Youth is hit by unemployment, but BJP is interested in polarising society to win elections. We have seen such attempts in TN also, but this state will not yield an inch to BJP … I am sure chief minister Stalin will lead and strengthen this fight,” he said.
Farooq urged Stalin to enter national politics. “It’s time to come to the national scene and build the nation as you have built this state,” he said. “To Khargeji, I say let us forget who is going to become the Prime Minister. Let us first win the elections. The PM does not matter, the nation matters.”
Tejashwi said democracy itself was in danger. “There is assault on our Constitution. All the constitutional authorities are hijacked. Our democracy is in danger. There is an undeclared emergency in India. I appeal to all the opposition parties to come to one platform to fight this.”
Akhilesh Yadav lauded Stalin for his government’s work on education and in coordinating with various parties under the social justice league.


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