No effort of unifying Opposition parties against the BJP will be successful without the Congress, according to Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and vice-president of the National Conference.

“Obviously, no effort towards Opposition unity will really succeed unless the Congress also is able to take the fight to the BJP in the way which we hope,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He was speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of an event organised by a group close to the Trinamool Congress on Saturday, which saw the presence of party MPs Derek O’ Brien and Sugata Bose.

“Most recently, you have seen all the Opposition parties coming together for the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Minister of Karnataka. There will be more such attempts made in various other States,” he said. Mr. Abdullah also said the Opposition unity would take “a greater shape” closer to the Lok Sabha election.

As for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under Governor’s Rule, Mr. Abdullah said his party had demanded that the Assembly be dissolved. “In the current situation, talking about Assembly election [in J&K] does not make any sense,” he said.

Calls for a united front

On Friday, Mr. Abdullah met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and emphasised the need for a united front to take on the BJP.

Asked about the parties that will constitute it, he said, “If you talk about a true federal front, it will be made of parties that actually don’t have differences.”

“Just take for example, my party the NC and Mamata
didi’s
party [Trinamool Congress] have no differences to settle,” he said.

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