MUMBAI: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Monday talked up the prospects of the Opposition bloc I.N.D.I.A in next year’s Lok Sabha elections saying the constituents of the newly formed alliance don’t consider themselves to be Opposition players anymore.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai on Monday, the former state minister said the whole country was rejoicing the return of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to the Parliament after the Supreme Court’s stay on his conviction in the criminal defamation case over the use of the ‘Modi’ surname.
“We do not consider ourselves to be in the Opposition anymore. We are already seeing overselves as part of the next government. I.N.D.I.A is going to win (Lok Sabha polls next year)”.
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being reinstated as MP, Thackeray said, “The entire country is celebrating (Rahul Gandhi’s return to Parliament). We have always been maintaining that no one can take away the rights of someone, who has been elected by the people. Wayanad has got its voice back in the Parliament.”
Rahul Gandhi represents the Wayanad constituency in Kerala in the Lower House.
Earlier, on Monday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat reinstated the membership of Rahul Gandhi, following Supreme Court’s order, staying his conviction in the Modi Surname case.
The Congress leader who was disqualified from the Lower House in March, was reinstated as the Wayanad MP.
Meanwhile, leaders of the united Opposition, under the banner of the Indian National Developmental Democratic Alliance (I.N.D.I.A), are scheduled to hold their third meeting in Mumbai over two days — August 31 and September 1, Congress sources said earlier.
The Opposition leaders came together to cobble up a united front against the Prime Minister-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with an eye on next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
The first Opposition meeting hosted by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was held in Patna in June, while the second was held in Congress-ruled Karnataka.
The opposition parties have stepped up their electoral preparedness to mount a joint front against the BJP-led NDA government in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and assembly elections in the five states scheduled to be held later in the year.
The Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram. Twenty-six opposition parties had named their alliance I.N.D.I.A during their meeting in Bengaluru earlier this month (ANI)