Mamata and Kejriwal propose Kharge as PM face; ‘let’s win first’, says Cong chief
   Date :20-Dec-2023

WEST Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday proposed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s name as the prime ministerial candidate of Opposition bloc INDIA, MDMK leader Vaiko said after the meeting of the grouping. However, the veteran Congress leader said it is important to win first and everything else can be decided later. Significantly, while Vaiko said Kharge’s name was proposed by Banerjee and Kejriwal, other leaders, on the condition of anonymity, maintained that there was no final decision on the issue during the meeting. After his name was proposed as a candidate to become the country’s first Dalit Prime Minister at a meeting attended by 28 Opposition leaders here, Kharge said, “I work for the downtrodden. Let’s win first, then we will see.
I don’t seek anything.” “First we have to win and get a majority, then MPs will decide democratically,” Kharge when asked if he could be the PM candidate for the Opposition alliance. Banerjee after her arrival in the national capital on Monday, had told reporters that any decision on the prime ministerial face of the alliance will be taken after the election. “When so many political parties are together, it is a democracy, with different states, different views and different opinions, but ultimately I.N.D.I.A. is a platform where we are fighting together,” said Banerjee. “The BJP doesn’t have any allies. The NDA is gone. We are not like that. It will be better, after the elections, we have to see the results, and then announce the PM candidate. All parties will decide that,” she had said. I.N.D.I.A. bloc protest on Dec 22 against suspension of MPs: THE Opposition INDIA bloc will hold a nationwide protest on December 22 against the suspension of 141 MPs from Parliament, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced on Tuesday after a meeting of the coalition. He said the coalition also passed a resolution condemning the suspension and calling the action “undemocratic”. As many as 49 more opposition lawmakers were suspended from Lok Sabha on Tuesday for unruly behaviour, taking the total number of MPs suspended in both Houses of Parliament to 141. Addressing a press conference after the INDIA bloc meeting, Kharge said, “If we have to save democracy we will have to fight together and all of us are ready for this fight.”
This is for the first time in India’s history that such a thing has happened, Kharge said. “The issue that we had raised in the House was not a wrong one....How did those people entered Parliament? Who facilitated their entry?” “We had been saying from earlier, Home Minister (Amit Shah) or Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), should come to House and apprise the House about the incident. But they did not agree. I do not understand. Parliament is going on, they go for inauguration in Ahmedabad...Modi ji goes to his constituency, is giving speeches everywhere, why did he not come to Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. Their intention is to finish democracy,” Kharge said. This is the first instance that so many people have been suspended, he said. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister are thinking that no one is better than them at ruling over the country. “We have united to change that mindset”, the Congress chief said.
A nationwide protest will be held on December 22 against the suspension of MPs, he said. While the opposition bloc has slammed as “undemocratic” the suspension of MPs for display of placards demanding a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah on the December 13 security breach in Parliament, the government justified the action saying the suspended MPs insulted the Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha Chairman and the institution of Parliament. On December 13, two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitors’ gallery and opened smoke cans.