New Delhi: Emphasising the need for unity among the Opposition parties to take on the “common enemy”, the BJP, DMK leader TR Baalu has said TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee should not divide the Opposition directly or indirectly.
Baalu, the leader of the DMK in the Lok Sabha, was among the selected leaders invited by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to her residence here last week to discuss Opposition strategy in Parliament. He said he is hopeful that the Opposition unity will strengthen further and the parties may project a single candidate for the presidential polls next year.
Terming the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the “common enemy” for the Opposition, Baalu, in an interview to PTI, said, “Opposition leaders should meet more often to discuss issues related to national politics with mainly one single agenda — to fight and defeat the BJP.”
Responding to a question on a leader who can unify the Opposition, he said it can be decided at an appropriate time and for the DMK, the call will be taken by its president, MK Stalin.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and our very own MK Stalin can bring various Opposition parties to the table to discuss issues related to national politics,” Baalu said.
He also suggested that there should be a common stand of the Opposition parties in Parliament to take on the BJP-led NDA government.
Asked about Banerjee’s remarks that there is no UPA, Baalu said a division in the Opposition would only serve the purpose of the BJP.
“Mamataji is a mature and wise politician. She enjoys the respect of fellow Opposition leaders. I would request her not to become a party to divide the Opposition directly or indirectly. Her attempts of going solo are not going to yield the desired results for her. Rather it may be of some help for the BJP, the common enemy of the Opposition,” he said.
Baalu’s remarks came days after the West Bengal chief minister, in the presence of NCP leader Sharad Pawar, said there is no United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which is led by the Congress.
Talking about the future course of action for bringing the Opposition parties together, the DMK leader said it is a process that requires efforts and time from everybody, but he is hopeful that the Opposition will emerge as more unified by the next presidential polls.
“I am hopeful that by the presidential election next year, the unity in the Opposition camp will further strengthen and we may be able to project a single candidate supported by all the Opposition parties,” he said.
Baalu said it is the beginning of the “Stalin era” in Tamil Nadu and under the chief minister’s leadership, the southern state will touch “new heights”.
On the DMK’s arch rival, the AIADMK, he said with the emergence of Stalin, the principal opposition party in the state “will melt like thin ice”.
Baalu alleged that the BJP is not functioning in Parliament in accordance with the rules and procedures of the House.
The DMK was part of the UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments at the Centre from 2004 to 2014.