Congress veteran and former Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday made a call to like-minded political parties, trade unions, and other groups to work together with the Congress to overthrow the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls adding that no single party may be capable of doing the job on its own.
Inaugurating the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) here, Mr. Antony described himself as a ‘‘realist”, observing that the Congress, on its own, would not be able to bring about a change in government in 2024.
Mr. Antony added that political parties were gravely mistaken if they felt they could topple the BJP without the Congress playing a leading role. Such policies would need to change, he said.
‘’I don’t think one party alone can overthrow this (BJP) government in the 2024 elections. Even though Congress is the only national party in India other than the BJP, having roots all over the country—there will be five to 10 (Congress) workers in every village in India, every ward in India—Congress alone will not be able to make a change of government in Delhi in 2024. The Congress is realistic about that. We are ready to work together with other parties who want a change of government in India,’‘ Mr. Antony said.
The upcoming Chintan Shivir in Udaipur would chart out strategies to bring together like-minded political parties and to bring about the BJP’s electoral defeat, he added. Mr. Antony said that a change in government was the only solution for the grievances of the working class.
Mr. Antony said that he did not dispute the trade unions’ right to strike work, but such measures would scarcely work against the pro-corporate BJP government. It would be a free ride for corporates if the BJP government continued in power, he alleged.
Political parties that rejected the idea of a united front including the Congress to take a stand against the BJP were enemies of the country, K. Sudhakaran, president, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said. He hit out at the Left front for openly professing an anti-BJP stance, even as it permitted the BJP to flourish.
Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala urged the INTUC to strengthen its fight against the pro-corporate Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the LDF government in Kerala that had embraced capitalist policies.
INTUC national president G. Sanjeeva Reddy presided. INTUC Kerala president R. Chandrasekharan, MPs Shashi Tharoor and M. K. Raghavan and other leaders were present. Before the event, Mr. Sanjeeva Reddy inaugurated the K. Karunakaran memorial INTUC state headquarters building at Paruthikuzhi.