• Thursday, July 25, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Rahul Gandhi to become India’s new opposition leader? Says will take a call

Gandhi’s Indian National Congress has won 99 seats in this year’s general election, which makes it eligible to become the official opposition party.

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (8) said he would give the proposal of becoming the Leader of the Opposition a consideration and take a decision soon.

In a meeting of the party held earlier in the day, the Congress party’s working committee unanimously requested the leader, who will turn 54 this month, to take up the post in the new Lok Sabha or Lower House of the Indian parliament, the party’s general secretary KC Venugopal said in a press conference.

The committee adopted a resolution praising the role that Rahul Gandhi, besides his mother and senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra besides its president Mallikarjun Kharge, played in the campaigning for the general elections.

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“Shri Rahul Gandhi campaign was single-minded, sharp and pointed and more than any other individual it was he who made the protection of our republic’s Constitution the central issue in the 2024 elections,” the resolution said.

It also cited the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the two national walkathons that Gandhi undertook over the past two years to mobilise public support for his party and alliance.

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“Both these Yatras that reflected his own thinking and personality were historic turning points in our nation’s politics and instilled hope and confidence in lakhs of our workers and crores of our voters,” the resolution added.

The resolution also highlighted that the ‘PaanchNyay – Pachees Guarantee‘ programme was also a result of Rahul Gandhi’s Yatras, during which he listened to the fears, concerns and aspirations of the common people, especially the youth, women, farmers, workers, Dalits, tribals, and minorities, among others.

The Congress, which is also called India’s Grand Old Party, finished with 99 seats in the general elections held recently, a far better result compared to its tallies of 44 and 52 in the 2014 and 2019 elections, respectively. It finished as the second-largest party after prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party with 240 seats and the top party from the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance bloc.

A party has to get at least 10 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha to be officially recognised as the opposition party. The Lok Sabha did not have an officially recognised opposition party after the 2014 and 2019 general elections since no party in the opposition received that many number of seats. This time, the Congress fulfils the criterion.

Gandhi won both the seats from which he contested the elections, including Wayanad in the southern state of Kerala and Rae Bareli in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which his mother vacated ahead of this year’s election.

The BJP failed to get a majority on its own and would have to depend on alliance partners to achieve the majority figure of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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