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Mudda discusses government formation and chance of coming together of secular and federal parties including Congress ahead of 2019 general election

The formation of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka has once again given a chance to opposition parties to come together and prepare for the 2019 parliamentary elections. The Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi has learnt a lesson of sacrificing positions for bringing about opposition unity.

Since 2014, the BJP has been continuously winning various state elections. But the Karnataka election has given a formula for opposition unity, which could lead to removal of the BJP-led government in the centre in 2019.

APN chose the politics of coalition for a debate in its iconic afternoon show Mudda on Wednesday. The panellists in the debate were—Ashok Goel, the spokesperson for BJP, Dr Hilal Naqvi, spokesperson for Congress, Kailash Yadav, spokesperson for RJD, Atul Chandra, a senior journalist, and Govind Pant Raju, consulting editor of APN. The show was anchored by Anant Tyagi.

Goel of BJP said that the opposition coalition does not have any popular leader or unified policy. Rahul Gandhi is not acceptable as prime minister of the country, he said. On the other hand, BJP has been working for the public welfare and opposition will not be able to harm in 2019 parliamentary elections, he added.

Dr Naqvi said the BJP has created a baseless perception that it is the largest party in the country. Congress is not a power-hungry party. “Our next mission is Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and we will happily cooperate with any party fighting against BJP,” he said.

Kailash Yadav, spokesperson of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), said that BJP has looted the country while claiming to fight against corruption during the last four years. People are unhappy with BJP because of rising prices and an insecure atmosphere. He claimed that opposition parties are coming together throughout the country. “Being part of the coalition we are answerable to the public,” he said.

Jagdev Singh Yadav, spokesperson for Samajwadi Party (SP), said that nothing is impossible in politics. He claimed the country is passing through an undeclared emergency due to BJP, which is not a democratic entity.

Chandra said that Rahul Gandhi has learnt that his party alone cannot counter BJP and other parties’ cooperation was inevitable.

Raju said that coalition governments are formed in a hung assembly. The Karnataka election has given an opportunity for opposition parties to unite against BJP. Formation of a coalition does not require a PM face before the elections. This can be decided after getting the people’s mandate, he said.

—Compiled by MA Kazmi

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