New Delhi: At a time when Congress president Sonia Gandhi is trying to garner support from the other political parties over the presidential elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said the saffron party is not at all worried over the same.
“They (Sonia and Rahul) can unite everybody who’s willing to come with them. But the BJP’s shortage is only 20,000 value votes, may be even less. There are certain parties which will not come if some other parties are in it. For example, the AIADMK will not come if the DMK is there,” Swamy said.
Stating that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by Sasikala group have 80,000 value votes, Swamy said that the BJP only has a shortage of 20,000 for absolute majority. “So, therefore we have no difficulty and people like me can definitely speak to the Sasikala group because of my stand on the Constitutionality. So, if I speak to them, they will certainly vote for us,” he added.
Swamy alleged that garnering support of other political parties is an excuse of the Congress Party to become relevant again. “There have been junior partners in other places like Uttar Pradesh where they had an alliance. Now they want to assert that the Congress Party will be the leader and the Prime Minister will be from the Congress Party in the next elections i.e., Lok Sabha in 2019. So, therefore they are trying to create a president just now. I don’t know how many will fall for it. But let them try,” he added.
Echoing similar views, another BJP leader Nalin Kohli said the political parties are entitled and it is in their norm to interact with other political parties.
“With regards to the creation of a so-called mahagathbandhan or a grand alliance of opposition parties this has been contemplated, spoken about, reported on numerous occasions over the last couple of decades. But it has remained an illusionary objective that they have been seeking to achieve, it’s not happened. As and when it happens, one can then comment,” he added.
As President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is set to end this July, all the political heavyweights have started flexing their muscles to place their man in the seat of de jure power as head of the nation. The Opposition’s efforts to pitch for a joint candidate for the presidential elections are set to gain ground in the next days with Sonia expecting to meet Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) working president MK Stalin.
Sonia, who has been out of the political scene for quite some time now, has been holding meetings with various political leaders and according to sources, she met National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday.
Sources said, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also spoke to Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, while Sonia spoke to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Yadav. Last week, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Sonia had held a discussion for putting up a joint opposition candidate.
So far, Sonia has held meetings with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja on the same issue. As the election is near, the idea of a united opposition will face a litmus test in the election which needs to be held before July 25, the day when President Mukherjee’s term expires.