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'Mahagathbandhan' at National Level Won't be Easy, Opposition Must Unite: Kapil Sibal

The attempt to form a mahagathbandhan at the national level is not going to be easy, said Kapil Sibal. He also noted that with very few seats the Congress is not in a position to "dictate terms", especially in states where it does not have a significant presence.

PTI

Updated:September 6, 2018, 11:13 PM IST
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'Mahagathbandhan' at National Level Won't be Easy, Opposition Must Unite: Kapil Sibal
File photo of senior Congress leader Kapil SIbal. (PTI)
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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said an attempt to form a "mahagathbandhan" at the national level is not going to be easy and called for unity among the opposition ranks to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In an interview to PTI, he said all parties getting together will be the "best situation", but the Congress with very few seats in Lok Sabha currently cannot dictate terms and thus has to form alliances in states to ensure a non-BJP government at the Centre.

"Where is the 'mahagathbandhan' today? The attempt to form a mahagathbandhan at the national level is not going to be easy," he said, ahead of the launch of his book "Shades of Truth" on Friday.

Sibal, however, noted that with very few seats the Congress is not in a position to "dictate terms", especially in states where it does not have a significant presence.

"If all parties get together nothing like it. But that is not an easy task for all to get together," he noted.

On who will form the next government, he said, "I perceive that the BJP will not be able to form a government. What the nature and architecture of the alternative government will be, will be decided after the election results come about."

"The Congress needs to form strategic alliances in those states so that in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha elections, the alliance partners stand with it to ensure a non-BJP government at the Centre," he said, adding that the results in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will decide who will be in government at the Centre.

The Congress leader noted that if the Congress and the RLD become part of the alliance comprising the SP and BSP, "it will be a formidable force".

The former union minister said it is clear that the BJP will will lose half the seats in states where it has significant presence currently.

Asked who will be lead the opposition to form a government in case the BJP fails to muster that much support, he said, who will form the government and who will be its leader will be decided later when the results come.

"When the election results come out, then the issue of who will be the leader of the opposition will come up," he said.

"The BJP is going to lose half the seats there straightway. They have nothing left in the South other than Karnataka. There is no way that they can muster enough support to form a government," he said.

Sibal noted that the mood of the nation cannot be gauged in advance, but demonetisation has destroyed lives, while a flawed GST has negatively impacted businesses, and rising NPAs, rampant unemployment with GDP at 6.75 per cent in 201718 will certainly not help Modi in the coming election.

He also accused the Modi government of destroying and "betraying" the agricultural sector after it was badly hit by demonetisation and by not fulfilling his promises.

He said his belated attempt to increase MSP of crops for the current kharif season is not going to change the lives of farmers and termed it as "too late" an attempt to think about farmers.

The book, published by Rupa, seeks to "demystify the Modi magic and assess the delivery on the ground based on the promises made by his government".

It also places before the people the data and facts to establish that the prime minister is undoubtedly a great salesman and has failed to fulfil the promises made to people, Sibal said.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Sibal's book is "a powerful indictment of the Modi government's performance. There has to be a meaningful national debate on issues raised by Kapil Sibal".

According to former Vice president Hamid Ansari, "In our sharply divided political discourse, 'Shades of Truth' is graphic in its compilation of facts and bold in its exposure of the perceived designs of an adversary."
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