Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi (50) has several hats to wear these days: heading the party’s legal cell, participating in daily strategy sessions, and hopping from one TV studio to another. He spoke to Varghese K George on a wide range of issues dominating the campaign. Excerpts.
Manmohan Singh said it was his conscious decision to hit back at Advani. Has this unending PM-Advani comparison been part of the Congress media strategy?
We did not plan it, but Advani desperately wanted a personal agenda. The comparison has worked out to our advantage. BJP started it all by calling Manmohan Singh a weak leader but they are taken aback by the intensity of our counter attack. There have been hundreds of examples to prove that the Advani is a majboor neta (desperate politician).
Will we see Congress with new partners after the elections? For instance JD-U or AIADMK?
Compared to all previous elections, fluidity and flux far are higher in this one. As far as realignments are concerned, all options are open, observing the ground rules of Congress ideology and keeping in mind fundamental fault lines of Indian politics. That means we cannot have any arrangement with BJP or Shiv Sena.
The traditional Congress stand has been that the legislative party will elect the PM candidate after the election. Why a change this time?
This time, contrary to the earlier practice, we announced the PM candidate to obviate speculations about it.
What if parties, whose support you may require to form government, do not accept Manmohan as PM?
He is the candidate of the Congress and some other partners have agreed to it. Some may disagree, but merely having a desire will not be enough to claim the post of Prime Minister. Will anyone else have the numbers to stake the claim?