IT’S TIME Congress came to terms with the reality that it no longer dominates the opposition space, political parties said on Monday in a strong reaction to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statement to the Chintan Shivir party the watch, according to which the regional counterparts “lack ideology”. to confront the BJP and the RSS.
As regional parties held back the BJP in several states, even as the Congress failed, one of its own allies, the JMM, said: “This is Rahul Gandhi’s self-assessment and he is entitled to his opinion, but who gave him the power to comment on ideology? How do we run the party without any ideology?
JMM and Congress lead a coalition government in Jharkhand. Party spokesman Supriyo Bhattacharya said: “The fact remains that it is those regional parties that the Congress depends on for a fight or a victory, be it the JMM in Jharkhand or the RJD in Bihar. .
Speaking at Chintan Shivir, Rahul said the Congress was mounting ideological resistance to the RSS onslaught, unlike regional parties which “lack ideology” and “have different approaches”.
The RJD, another congressional ally, also called Rahul’s statement “unfortunate”. RJD MP Manoj Jha said that if the former Congress speaker had been aware of the outcome of the electoral battles against the BJP, he would have realized “the ideological and electoral commitment brought by such regional formations, which according to him, do not have the capacity”. .
Jha also repeated RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s advice to the Congress: “There are 220 to 225 seats where the BJP and the Congress are in direct contest. The Congress should leave the other spaces to the regional parties and settle for the idea of a co-traveller.
Leaders of congressional ally DMK preferred not to comment. Several said they were waiting for the party leadership’s position on the matter.
Recently, another ally, the CPM, said it was the Congress that had an ideological crisis as it flirted with “soft Hindutva” and was unable to meet the challenges posed by the BJP. CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, who is considered a supporter of the Congress, told a party conference in Kochi: “Compared to the past, the Congress is now significantly weakened. And many within the BJP and RSS do not see Congress as a major threat. Because any of its leaders, at any time, can leave the party to join the BJP.
The TMC and AAP, which inflicted more than one defeat on the BJP, were more direct. TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev said ‘devoid of narrative, face and organization’ it is Congress that hands over seats to the BJP on a plateau, in places where the two parties are in direct struggle.
“We are not contesting every seat, but the BJP is strong wherever Congress is the main opposition. The BJP was unable to defeat MK Stalin (Tamil Nadu), Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), or for that matter YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), to name a few. In this sense, the BJP is happy to have the Congress as its national party. The reality is that Congress is incapable of defeating the BJP,” said Dev, who left Congress in August last year.
The TMC walked away from Congress after being a member of the UPA.
Another former Congress ally, the Samajwadi party, said that if it was not their place to comment on the internal affairs of Congress, it was worth asking if Congress was the alternative to the BJP, why was it not? he not seen as one. “The BJP has formed a government in the Center twice in a row. If the Congress was the only alternative for the people, then why has this alternative failed to come to power?… The fact is that without regional parties, no government is possible even in the Center,” said said SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary. The Indian Express.
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah, another former Congress partner, said: “Generalizations are always a mistake and painting all regional parties with the same brush is a disservice to regional parties. I can’t speak for the others, but we are certainly not devoid of ideology… We elected Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Buddhists.
Pointing out that Congress has had alliances with almost all regional parties, Omar added, “What does this say about Congress ideology? From Shiv Sena to PDP to NC, AIADMK, DMK, and at one point with Nitish Kumar’s party too… At a time when Congress needs regional parties, it should not attack them. He should focus on attacking BJP.
AAP asked how the big old party thinks it will be able to fight the communal forces, given that it remains embroiled in infighting. “Even in states like Madhya Pradesh, which elected the ruling Congress, its candidates have gone on sale. The party is not present in major states like UP and Tamil Nadu. And what is national and regional? For years Congress has been a junior partner of parties like SP, DMK,” said AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.
Akali Dal’s senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said it was the BJP and the Congress that were “two sides of the same coin”. “They overlook the diversity of the regions’ distinct geography, language and culture while pursuing their national policies…If anyone can give the Congress or the BJP a fight, it’s the regional parties.”
Talasani Srinivas Yadav, senior Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader and minister, said: “Rahul Gandhi should first examine the state of his party all over India and then make such comments.
Refusing to testify, a leader of the YSR Congress Party (formed after a split in Congress) said, “Haven’t we decimated the Congress, which is a national party, in Andhra Pradesh? If we can face a national party, we are strong enough to face any other national party.
BJD spokesman Lenin Mohanty said: “The results that regional parties have shown in their respective states are sufficient proof of the effectiveness of these parties. From Delhi to Kerela, regional parties enjoy the trust of the people and are given more and more responsibility.
The slow eclipse of Congress showed “it is fighting an ideological battle itself,” Mohanty added. “In all likelihood, Rahul Gandhi was in a joking mood. They should first assess themselves correctly, then denigrate either the national parties or the regional parties. The problem with Congress right now is that it is incapable of evaluating.
Jha noted that Rahul’s own statement ran counter to the statement passed by Congress in Chintan Shivir on keeping options open for alliances with “like-minded parties”.
with inputs from Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar