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Veteran Congress leader K V Thomas today made a strong call to his former party colleagues including NCP chief Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to merge their outfits with the grand old party to take on the BJP. However, in a situation where they do not want to unite their parties with the Congress, he said an alliance can be formed of the non-BJP parties which can be headed by Sonia Gandhi while the Congress party can move forward under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. "All old congressman including Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy should join us to fight the BJP on the national front.
But the best option is to merge their parties with the Congress," Thomas told reporters. All former Congress leaders should come back to their old party to take on BJP's surge, he added. "Soniaji has done a wonderful job during the UPA-1 and UPA-2, and most of these non-BJP parties have worked with her. "Now for a national cause all the non-BJP parties which believe in democratic principles and secularism should come together under the leadership of Mrs Gandhi to take on the saffron party," the former Union Minister said. In the past, left parties have worked with us, Congress is still their principle opposition party in Kerala, Thomas said, adding "I feel on national front we can come together". He said all these parties should come together not only for the elections but on the various issues which dominate the national discourse. The recent state assembly elections have proved that the Congress is a party which can take on the BJP at the national level, Thomas said, adding that out of five states, people had voted his party to power in Punjab. While in two states--Goa and Manipur, people voted to bring the Congress into power but the BJP being power at the Centre used its machinery to form the governments in these two states. Thomas, an outgoing Public Accounts Committee chief, says that he stand by his statement that Prime Minister can be called in front of the parliamentary panel. The PAC is a mini parliament, it is an institution and the Prime Minister is first among equals but he can be summoned before it. Citing an old rule to defend his contention, he said, the rule that empowers the PAC to summon a Cabinet minister, including the Prime Minister, has supremacy over a contrary direction of the Speaker. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of demonetisation, Thomas said he shocked the country with his decision. The demonetisation was aimed to prevent the corruption but the new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 currency notes are still coming to the market in bulk and the black money and corruption is as rampant as earlier, he claimed. He also criticised Modi over handling of situation in Kashmir.