Resurgent Congress eyes better deal in Bihar
A senior party leader said that Bihar was important for the party’s attempts of revival, more so when it plans to contest a minimum of 300 seats across the country.patna Updated: Jan 29, 2019 08:30 IST
The plunge of Priyanka Gandhi in active politics and encouraging election results in the Hindi heartland has galvanised Congressmen in Bihar, where the party is driving a hard bargain with allies for a greater share of seats to contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Party insiders have already hinted that they would not cede more space to regional allies in the national politics. It has also decided to go it alone in Andhra Pradesh.
In Bihar, ahead of the seat sharing in the Grand Alliance (GA), the party is going all out to make party president Rahul Gandhi’s Patna rally on February 3 a mega show of strength. It has also invited regional allies to participate in it.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who was in Delhi on Monday, said he would attend Rahul’s rally. “We have received the invitation and we will attend the rally,” he told the media outside the Patiala House Court in Delhi here after securing bail in the 2006 IRCTC hotels case.
For the Congress ,this will be first such mega show of strength in recent years.
A senior party leader said that Bihar was important for the party’s attempts of revival, more so when it plans to contest a minimum of 300 seats across the country.
The party sees hope in the new vibes in its favour in the Hindi heartland.
Bihar Congress in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil, however, said there was no problem in seat-sharing in Bihar as the RJD was an old and trusted ally. “In Bihar, we will fight in alliance. Both the parties have good understanding and seat-sharing talks will take place after the rally of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
However, with several senior leaders from the NDA, including sitting MPs, also looking at the Congress with hope, this could add to the party’s claim for a bigger stake on ‘winnability’ quotient.
Purnea MP Uday Singh, Katihar MP Tariq Anwar, former MP Lovely Anand are already adding to the list of Congress ticket hopefuls, apart from the likes of BJP MPs Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad.
Congress veteran Meira Kumar and Ranjeeta Ranjan are sure to get tickets. Party sources say more leaders are approaching.
Gohil said the main focus in Bihar would be to win maximum number of seats for the Grand Alliance (GA). “Winnability will be the main factor. Some senior leaders have joined the party unconditionally. We don’t have any issue allowing Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM to contest a particular seat if it stands a better chance there. Our focus is on increasing the GA strike rate and everyone knows it. Every ticket will be important,” Gohil said.
The national coordinator of the data analytics department, All India Congress Committee (AICC), Shashwat Gautam, said it was important for the party to maintain the tempo in the Hindi heartland to build on the successes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh and the way heavyweights were flocking to the party, it manifested the new mood.
“The Congress has put its best foot forward by introducing Priyanka Gandhi in politics, as it was the need of the hour to take the evolving national narrative in its favour forward. Bihar will be no different. Being a national party, it needs to contest requisite number of seats to beat the narrative of the BJP, which revolves around regional outfits. As it is a national election, RJD also knows it and Tejaswhi Prasad Yadav has been consistently speaking about it,” he said.
Gautam said the party had initiated massive outreach programme in the state to rope in the people who have been historically voting for the Congress and use them to bring in new voters to its fold. “The fulcrum of the opposition fight against the BJP at the national level has to be Congress even while accepting the importance of regional allies in the coalition era. It will cater to the changing aspirations of the new generation and expose the lies of the BJP,” he said.
First Published: Jan 29, 2019 08:30 IST