P. Chidambaram, Former Union Minister, on Thursday backed Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's call to the Congress to reach out to other anti-BJP forces to join the Congress-led alliance UPA to take on the BJP, even as he also said that it would be good for India, if the paths taken by the Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee converge.
"I read Sanjay Raut's statement. I think he has made a very responsible statement. What he says is, we need a non-BJP opposition in the country and the Congress party must take the lead and bring together all the UPA parties. I think that is a very sensible statement. I fully agree with Sanjay Raut," Chidambaram, who is the Congress' senior observer in-charge of the 2022 Assembly polls in Goa, told a press conference here.
"UPA is not led by Congress. The old UPA is still there. CPI, CPI-M, DMK, NCP, RJD... UPA is still there. Raut's suggestion is, all the erstwhile UPA parties must come together again and Congress should take initiative, which I think is the correct statement," Chidambaram said.
Asked if the Congress would use the 2022 Goa Assembly polls to put Raut's suggestion into action, he said, "We are ready to try (but) two hands must clap."
When talking about the possibility of a convergence between Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, and Indian National Congress, Chidambaram said: "I have known her for over 20-25 years now. She has got a particular approach, we have an approach, it would be good for the country if the two approaches can converge."
Chidambaram also called the current anti-defection law as a defective legislation, adding that if the Congress comes to power in the 2024 general elections, the party would plug the existing loopholes in the law.
"The bane of politics has been defection. It's a shame. Goan people should not forgive those who get elected on one party ticket and shamelessly defect to another party. That is the bane of Goan politics. We must put an end to that disease in 2022. If you are elected on one party ticket, you must remain with that party for the term of five years," he said.
"I have said in several meetings that the defection law is a defective law. This law has several loopholes which people are using. If a Congress government is formed in 2024, certainly those loopholes would be removed," he added.
(With inputs from IANS)