New Delhi: Congress responded strongly to BJP leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s criticism of the opposition alliance forming under a new banner. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, in-charge of communication, mocked Sarma’s remarks and pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Sarma considers his mentor, introduced initiatives like Skill India, Startup India, and Digital India, and also encouraged chief ministers of various states to collaborate as ‘Team India’. Ramesh sarcastically questioned whether Sarma had a surplus of sour grapes, implying he was being hypocritical.
The Congress leader further highlighted that when 26 political parties named their alliance “Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance” (INDIA), Sarma criticized the use of “India,” claiming it reflected a colonial mentality. Ramesh suggested that Sarma should express this sentiment to his own boss, Prime Minister Modi, who used the term “India” in various programs. These comments were made in response to Sarma’s recent tweet about the importance of embracing the term “Bharat” instead of “India” due to colonial associations.
The disagreement between the two leaders occurred after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced the name of the alliance during a meeting in Bengaluru. Kharge emphasized that their aim was not just to secure the Prime Minister’s position but to protect India’s core values, including the Constitution, secularism, and democracy. The opposition parties held this crucial meeting to strategize for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, showing their unity against the ruling BJP.