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To dislodge BJP, Cong ready to give in to allies’ demands

| | in GupShup
To dislodge BJP, Cong ready  to give in to allies’ demands

Though the Congress is claiming that Rahul Gandhi will be its PM candidate for the next Lok Sabha Elections, it is a fact that the party is ready to forge alliances to strengthen its position. Some say the Congress is ready for any sacrifice and to agree to the conditions of regional parties. The party realises that the next elections will not be an easy task for it. Interestingly, at the Iftar party of the Congress, a senior leader, pointing towards Rahul, said: “Our leader is still young and has a lot of time.”

This means the Congress is in no hurry. Its first priority is to oust the BJP from power, and the second task is to reach the stature of the BJP to be able to give it a good fight. The Congress leaders feel the party won’t gain the ability to contest against the BJP as long as it is in power, as the Congress is facing many problems during the BJP regime. The BJP has been successful in making corruption a synonym for the Congress. Not to forget the financial crisis the Congress is currently battling, which makes its job harder.

This is precisely why the Congress will be ready to forge alliances at any cost. The party is ready to leave more and more seats for regional parties in States. It will fight on nominal seats in five States — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu. Apart from that, the party has decided to join hands with the NCP in Maharashtra and with the JDS in Karnataka. Sources in the Congress say the party is concentrating on 300 seats and has kept its target to win 150.

The Congress is mainly focussing on those seats where it had won in the last elections or even where it stood second. Another party leader says there are two reasons for focussing on a few seats: First, the party wants to give a direct fight to the BJP, so it can be stopped; and secondly, the party doesn’t have the resources to fight in the entire country.

IN TANDEM: RSS AND BJP

Some time ago, Mohan Bhagwat had said in Pune that “Congress-free India” was not the language of the RSS. Soon after that, Amit Shah clarified that a Congress-free India meant freedom from the Congress culture. After that, RSS invited Pranab Mukherjee to Nagpur and set a fresh political debate for 2019. Later, the RSS leaders gathered at Surajkund near Delhi and Amit Shah spent eight hours with them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi then invited the RSS leaders for dinner. After that, he had a meeting with senior office-bearers of the RSS and BJP. Last Friday, the PM had a dinner with senior RSS leaders and the very next day, he discussed strategies for 2019 with them in the presence of senior BJP leaders. In that meeting, all senior office-bearers of RSS, expect Bhagwat, were present. Sources say Bhaiyyaji Joshi, Dattatreya Hosabale, Krishna Gopal, G Bhagaiya and MG Vaidya were present in the meeting. From the BJP, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and Sushma Swaraj participated.

So, this is being said that a full synergy has been established between the RSS and BJP, and the Sangh will go all out to ensure the party’s victory. Leaders from both sides had discussions not only on the 2019 elections, but also over the Assembly Elections in three States scheduled for this year. They also discussed the achievements of the government and even the performances of MLAs.

According to sources, the BJP might introduce changes in its organisation in some States. The duties of RSS pracharaks deputed for the BJP may also be tweaked. There is a buzz that two persons, who belong to Rajasthan and work in UP, may be sent back to be roped into the Rajasthan elections. The role of some more pracharaks will also be changed.

RACE FOR RS VICE-CHAIRMAN

The post of the Rajya Sabha Vice-Chairman will be vacated at the end of this month. PJ Kurien of the Congress will retire from the Rajya Sabha and the party has decided not to send him back again. After his retirement, a new Vice-Chairman will be elected. In the Rajya Sabha, it is not necessary to give this post to the Opposition, as in the Lok Sabha. The RS Vice-Chairman is the de facto chairman and usually happens to be from the ruling party.

So this time, the BJP will field its candidate for this post. Earlier, it was being speculated that the Shiv Sena would be offered this post, but now it seems that the BJP will field its own candidate. The party is exploring various names and only the leader who can get support from maximum parties will be chosen.

On the other hand, the Opposition is discussing fielding a non-Congress leader for this post. However, this is also a fact that the Congress is the second biggest party in the Rajya Sabha with 51 seats, but the Opposition leaders are well aware of the fact that the Congress can’t win without their help, and they also know that the party will support them to stop the BJP. So, this is being said that the Opposition CMs — Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu, HD Kumaraswamy, and P Vijayan — who came to Delhi for the meeting of Niti Aayog, had a discussion on this.

As per the current scenario in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has 69 votes, and the NDA along with the AIADMK has 108 votes. On the other hand, non-NDA parties have 115 votes. The TRS, YSR Congress, and BJD are not disclosing their moves. But in case of voting, the TRS and YSR Congress can move towards the ruling alliance. That is why it is being said that the Opposition parties want a candidate from the BJD so that its nine votes can be taken care of. If the BJD backs the Opposition parties, then its candidate could win.

DEMAND FOR FULL STATEHOOD

Arvind Kejriwal is seeking full statehood for Delhi. Now questions are being raised as to why he wants this after running his government for three years! The Delhi BJP President, Manoj Tiwari, has said Delhi can’t be given the status of full statehood. Interestingly, even Sheila Dikshit has said that full statehood can’t be given to Delhi. The Congress and BJP have said that Kejriwal is pressing for this only to divert attention from his failures. It is also a fact that from 1993 — when the first elections were held for the Delhi Assembly — to 2013, ie for 20 years, the BJP and Congress fought elections on this demand only. When the Vajpayee Government was at the Centre, the then deputy PM LK Advani had put the proposal of full statehood for Delhi. Later, the proposal was sent to the Parliamentary Committee, and its chairman Pranab Mukherjee had accepted that Delhi must get the status of full statehood. The irony is that Sheila is giving sermons to Kejriwal, saying full statehood is not possible, but it was she who had mooted a proposal in the Assembly and sent that to the Centre. Even in the manifesto of the 2015 Assembly Elections, the Congress had promised full statehood to Delhi.

 
 
 
 
 
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