AMID REPORTS that a sizable section in the party favours contesting all Lok Sabha seats, a senior Congress leader has openly demanded that it should contest all the Lok Sabha seats in the next general elections.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, one of the vocal party leaders, also cautioned against "underestimating our adversaries".
In a wide-ranging interview to PTI on organisational affairs and the coalition experiment ahead of assembly polls in key states, he suggested the holding of brainstorming sessions of senior leaders in the states and at the national-level on the lines of the Pachmarhi Conclave of 1998 and the Shimla Shivir in 2003 to decide future strategy. He said, "Until we fight all the seats, how will we keep our cadres going?"
"I personally would go for elections on our own, but there could be national compulsions which I may not be aware of, and therefore it is for the Congress president and the Congress Working Committee to decide."
Singh's comments come soon after the UPA government - the first coalition experiment by the Congress at the Centre - recently completed half its term and leaders of the Grand Old Party have started informally talking about the strategy for facing Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
Digvijaya Singh, who was Chief Minister for two consecutive terms, said coming to power as a coalition is one thing and "on our own is another thing". The Congress and NCP have been sharing power in Maharashtra since 1999 and came together to form a coalition a few months after Pawar parted company with the Congress on the issue of Gandhi's foreign origin.