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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

On regional allies, Rahul says one thing, party quite another

Declaration says party will keep doors open for alliances

Written by Manoj C G | Udaipur |
Updated: May 16, 2022 1:56:39 am
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi speaks at the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur on Saturday. (Photo: Twitter)

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said his party alone can fight the BJP as regional parties neither have an ideology nor a centralised approach. The declaration adopted at the end of the three-day chintan shivir of the party, on the other hand, said the party will keep the doors open for alliances depending on the political situation.

Arguing that the political battle in India is between the ideologies of the Congress and BJP/RSS, he said this battle cannot be fought by a regional party.

Rahul said it was the Congress’s responsibility to protect the institutions and restart the conversation between different religions and castes and between the states which the BJP government is trying to subvert and break. “No regional party will do this. The BJP or the RSS will not do it,” he said.

“Regional parties belong to some caste. They don’t represent everyone,” he said.

“This battle cannot be fought by a regional party. Because this is a battle of ideology. The ideology of the RSS is fighting against the ideology of the Congress. The BJP will talk about the Congress, its leaders and workers but will not talk about regional parties. Because they know that regional parties have a space but they cannot defeat the BJP because they don’t have an ideology. They have different approaches. We have a centralised approach. And our fight is about ideology,” he said.

The Udaipur declaration adopted by the party, at the same time, said that while the party on its own and through its organisational strength can make inroads and create ground, it was “committed to establish contact and have dialogue with all like-minded parties in the national interest and to save democracy…and keep the options open for alliances wherever necessary according to the political situation”.

It also said the party will establish contact and engage with all social, cultural, NGOs, trade unions, think-tanks and civil society groups.

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The shivir saw leaders expressing divergent opinions on the question of alliances. While many favoured it, some argued the party should go alone as alliances over the years have crippled the organisation in many states. This contradiction and confusion perhaps reflected in Rahul’s speech and the declaration as well.

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