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Congress, Opposition must unite against BJP for 2019 LS polls: Chidambaram

Said Opposition did not fully exploit demonetisation fiasco due to dissenting voices among them

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. Photo: PTI
File photo of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram

Unless stem defection to Modi's camp, it will be difficult to put up a united fight against the in the 2019 elections, says senior leader P

He also feels the line-up for the next polls is not clear yet, but the must co-opt other to create a broad platform to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"The line up is not clear. See, two things are happening. Some like (JD-U), are defecting to Modi's camp. In the case of other opposition parties, significant leaders and significant sections of parties are defecting to the camp. Unless the stem this defection, it will be difficult to put up a united fight against the BJP," told IANS in an interview, the first part of which, dealing with the economy, was released Tuesday.

The former Finance Minister said that in Gujarat the lost 14 MLAs and Trinamool lost six in Tripura.

"These are serious setbacks. This is a problem and the party has to address the problem. First, it must stem any defection of its leaders and ranks to the Second, it must co-opt other and create a broad platform. Since the is the only other party with a footprint, it is the Congress' duty to create this opposition platform," he said.

Asked about parties like Odisha's Biju Janata Dal and how to rope them into an anti-platform, said: "I don't deal with these matters or the leaders. All I can say is that it is in the interest of the nation that these parties come together on one platform."

He also expressed confidence that like-minded parties could be brought together. "There are people on the job."

To a question on the perception war, the won on the issue, said, "I don't know whether he (Modi) is winning. He won the war earlier. But after the report (of RBI) and the number, I think there is a change in perception."

He conceded that the did not fully exploit the fiasco because of the dissenting voices among them.

"Nitish Kumar, and Navin Patnaik ... they welcomed The opposition did not speak in one voice against and that muddied the waters; and Modi's ability to communicate and convince a large proportion of people to believe that the was something good for the country. But after the I doubt if a majority of the people are still convinced that the was good. But that only time will tell," he said.

Speaking about the Congress, said, "It is mixed. In Gujarat we lost 14 MLAs. Newspaper reports say there is some dissent in Bihar. After we lost 14 MLAs, the rest of the party in Gujarat is consolidated and has got greater confidence. In Telangana the party is very active. But in Andhra Pradesh, the Nandyal bypoll result is very dismal. The picture is mixed across the country. Within the party, its a mixed picture."

Asked about the leadership and when would take over reins of the party, said he is the Vice President and he did not know when he will take over as the party president.

(V S Chandrasekar and Brajendra Nath Singh can be contacted at and

First Published: Wed, September 06 2017. 13:29 IST