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Rahul addresses Congress’s alliance with Trinamool in 2011 as a mistake

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New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during a meeting with party men from West Bengal on Monday conceded that it was “not a wise decision” to contest so few seats in the 2011 assembly elections in alliance with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

At the meeting with a delegation of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, Gandhi asked all the leaders if the Trinamool would have won the 2011 elections without the Congress’s support. Everyone present replied “no”.

“Following this, the Congress vice president conceded that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won that election at the cost of the Congress and it was not a wise decision to contest the elections with so few seats (65),” said West Bengal Congress spokesperson Omprakash Mishra.

The majority of the delegation members after meeting Gandhi expressed their willingness for an alliance with the Left Front for the upcoming assembly polls.

According to one of the members, almost everyone was against tying up with the Trinamool Congress. CP Joshi, general secretary in charge of party affairs in West Bengal, was also present at the meeting.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take a final call on a possible alliance.

Congress’s Bengal unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also briefed his opinion in front of media persons

We had a long discussion with our vice president Rahul Gandhi ji. I must appreciate that Rahul Gandhi ji gave us a patient hearing,

He (Gandhi) listened to us with rapt attention, although everyone present there expressed independent views. Rahul ji has assured us that all the views expressed will be taken into account. After having a threadbare discussion with Sonia ji, we will be sitting together again and at that time, the views of the Congress party will be announced,” he said.

He also fetched some light on Congress’s possibility of an alliance with the Left Front: “I cannot say that an alliance between the Congress and CPI-M has been done.

Rahul Gandhi assured us that in consultation with Sonia Gandhi, he will be able to conclude the chapter of an alliance, either yes or no.

Chowdhury is believed to be among those leaders who are of the view that an alliance with the Left Front was the only way to challenge the ruling Trinamool in Bengal.

“Everybody expressed their views in the meeting. There were only a few of them who said that the Congress should go alone to the polls,” Chowdhury said.

Meanwhile, Omprakash Mishra, who has been advocating a tie-up with the Left Front, said: “We hope that decisions on seat-sharing adjustments with the Left will be finalised soon.”

We had a good meeting with Rahul ji and it was an interactive discussion. It was very democratic and transparent,

Everyone expressed their views and almost everybody pitched in for seat-sharing adjustments with the Left. Not a single member was in support of an alliance with the Trinamool Congress. Only two of them wanted that the Congress should contest the elections alone and (former state Congress chief) Manas Bhunia was one of them,” Mishra told

To this, most of us gave an explanation that if we go alone, then we will get only 15-16 seats,

Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s reaction, Mishra said: “Rahul Gandhi ji said he was yet to get a complete picture of the situation and only after discussions with Congress president Sonia ji, he will be able to come to a conclusion.”

I raised the issue of the 2019 general elections. I told Rahul ji that the Trinamool Congress must be defeated in the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal to thwart their chances of winning the elections in 2019. If Mamata Banerjee is defeated in 2016, then her overall influence and hold over the state will reduce. She is basically a soft ally of the BJP,

“It is imperative to defeat the TMC in order to save Bengal,” he added.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: www.indiatvnews.com)

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Congress To Use Tribal Card to Regain Power in the Country

Congress to use tribal card to improve countrywide position

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Congress will be using the tribal card to regain dominance and their plan of action will begin from Chhattisgarh. Wikimedia Commons

BY SANDEEP PAURANIK

In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.

Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.

Rahul Gandhi Congress
Former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi gave an important message while innaugrating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.

Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.

The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.

BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.

The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.

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The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country. Wikimedia Commons

Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.

“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.

Also Read- Unity in Diversity is the Strength of the Country: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)