Congress is one of the strongest parties in India, let them lead from the front: Saji Cheriyan

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Thiruvananthapuram/Thrissur: In the wake of Congress emerging victorious in Karnataka Assembly polls, there appears to be a difference of opinion in the ruling CPM in Kerala over the role the grand old party should play to defeat the BJP in the 2024 general elections.

While Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPM state secretary M V Govindan expressed the view that the Congress was weak in several parts of the country and cannot take up the fight against BJP on its own, state Fisheries Minister Saji Cheriyan said the grand old party should lead from the front.

Vijayan, after inaugurating a public meeting at Guruvayoor in Thrissur district organised by the LDF as part of its second anniversary celebrations, said the Congress should realise that it is not as strong as it was in the past and batted for a "statewise" strategy of uniting anti-BJP forces to take on the saffron party.

"We should work according to the changing scenario on the ground and the Congress needs to realise that. It needs to realise that is not the same Congress that was in power in the country for several years. It is weak in several parts of the country.

"Therefore, the practical strategy for completely defeating the BJP in the country is to unite all the groups which are against the saffron party in a state and counter the BJP state-wise," he said at the event on Sunday.

A similar view was echoed by Govindan a day ago when he said the Karnataka poll results do not indicate a comeback of the Congress and that the grand old party cannot free India of BJP on its own. "Even they (Congress) do not lay claim to that," he had said.

On Sunday, Cheriyan said that Congress is one of the strongest parties in India and there was nothing wrong with asking them to come forward in the fight against BJP.

"Let them lead from the front," he said and at the same time added that he does not agree with the Congress' stand on various issues in Kerala.

"However, to ensure secularism in the country, they need to be at the forefront. There is no argument on that," he told reporters.

In the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls, the Congress won 135 of the total 224 seats, while the BJP and the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats, respectively.


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