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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)

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Shiv Sena Declares Rahul Gandhi a Threat For BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

It went on to add that ditto was the scenario with the post of President, since many had hoped that Advani at least would be catapulted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in June 2017.

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Rahul Gandhi, Wikipedia

A day after asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refrain from “ridiculing” Rahul Gandhi for declaring his ambition to become Prime Minister, the Shiv Sena on Friday showered praises on the Congress chief, saying “he poses a challenge to the BJP” in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“This is not the Rahul Gandhi of 2014. He is a changed person now. He has weathered abuse and criticism to emerge intellectually strong.

“He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019,” the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana”.

Asserting that “Gandhi has acquired political strength and clout”, the ruling BJP ally pointed out that this was effectively demonstrated in the December 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.

“The BJP leaders mock him in vulgar language, but Rahul Gandhi has always maintained Modi’s dignity as Prime Minister and never stooped low to criticise him ever.

“This proves that Rahul Gandhi possesses political intellect and culture, which even his opponents would concede,” the Sena added.

However, the Sena wondered why the BJP was running “so scared and indulging in chest-beating” over Gandhi’s desire to become the Prime Minister should his party won.

“Today, the BJP wants to know how — with a queue of Prime Minister aspirants among the opposition parties — could Gandhi declare himself as a contender for the top post?

"He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019," the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
Shiv Sena supports Rahul’s ambition to become PM, IANS

“This question should be replied to by the BJP’s senior leaders like L.K. Advani or Murli Manohar Joshi and others,” the Sena said in a veiled reference to the side-lining of the party’s senior leaders under the current dispensation.

It went on to add that ditto was the scenario with the post of President, since many had hoped that Advani at least would be catapulted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in June 2017.

But finally, Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had their way and they went ahead with their choice without consulting any of the allies and friendly parties, it said, adding how it had proposed the name of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for President.

“So, why is the BJP now demanding that Congress should consult its (UPA) allies before declaring the candidate for the Prime Minister’s post? Let the people of the country decide whether Gandhi is good for them or not,” the Sena said.

Also Read: At 7.4%, India Will be the Fastest Growing Major Economy in 2018 

The Sena advised the BJP that instead of ridiculing Gandhi, “the BJP should have welcomed his statement and countered it by throwing a challenge to the Congress that it would defeat him in the 2019 battle”.

The Sena reiterated the shabby treatment meted out by the BJP to its allies, and although it came to power with their support, the allies were rewarded “with back-stabbing, damage and destruction”.

“The people will be the final judge whether Gandhi will become the Prime Minister or be dumped. Even Modi was very nice before the (2014) elections. But later on, peoples’ pain and problems continue… The masses are reeling under it like a donkey carrying a heavy load… The only difference is, after each election, the donkey’s master changes,” the Sena concluded. (IANS)