Win all seven seats in Delhi, Cong chief exhorts party cadre
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday set aside all speculation about a Congress-AAP alliance in the national Capital by urging the party workers to work hard to “win all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi”.
“There will be no tie-up and the Congress will go it alone on all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. You should work hard to win all the seven seats of Delhi,” said Rahul while addressing party’s booth workers in Delhi.
It seems the Congress is taking a long term view of its prospects in Delhi, where it was a force to reckon with for decades. But the arrival of the AAP wiped out the Congress from the scene. In 2004 LS polls, the Congress won six out of seven seats and in 2009 it won all seven seats. But after AAP turned the 2014 polls into triangular contest, the BJP swept Delhi winning all the seven seats. The Congress had been in power for three consecutive terms spanning 15 years from 1998 to 2013.
At a recent meeting with the Congress chief , the Delhi Congress, led by Shiela Dikshit, had unanimously refused an alliance with AAP. Last week, after a meeting with Rahul and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Dikshit had claimed the Congress had “no alliance yet” in Delhi. The meeting and the comment both came after AAP leaders urged Rahul for a rethink, saying it should be his decision and not the State Congress’ diktat.
The Congress has been under pressure from the TMC to enter into an alliance with the AAP. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal too has been keen on a tie-up, saying it would stop the split of non-BJP votes.
As the Opposition started recalibrating its campaign after the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent IAF air strikes, Rahul held a meeting with leaders of the Delhi Congress to discuss the issue.
After the Congress refusal then, Kejriwal had tweeted, “At a time when the whole country wants to defeat Modi-Shah duo, Cong is helping BJP by splitting anti-BJP vote. Rumours are that Congress has some secret understanding with BJP. Delhi is ready to fight against Cong-BJP alliance. People will defeat this unholy alliance.”
Reacting to Rahul’s statement on Monday, AAP leader Gopal Rai said his party is not in talks with the Congress for an alliance in Delhi and it will contest all seven seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Rai said Kejriwal will hold a meeting with all State unit chiefs of the party and MLAs to discuss the strategy for the parliamentary polls. “The party is not in talks with the Congress for an alliance in Delhi and it will contest all the seats on its own,” the AAP’s Delhi unit convener said.
In an all out attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress president flayed him on a host of issues such as the Rafale deal, employment generation, national security and alleged agrarian distress. He also said the choice is between Mahatma Gandhi’s India or Godse’s India with love on one hand and hate on the other.
“You have to decide, you want Gandhi’s India or Godse’s India. On the one hand there is love, brotherhood, on the other is hate, fear. Gandhiji was fearless, stayed in jail for years, but spoke with the British with love, while (Veer) Savarkar wrote letters to Britishers apologising and asking to be let off,” he said.
He said Modi keeps talking about Make in India, but his shirt, shoes and phone, with which he takes selfies, are made in China.
Rahul said 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the Pulwama terror attack carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed whose chief Masood Azhar was released from jail by the BJP.
“Two of our Prime Ministers were martyred. We don’t bow before anyone,” he said.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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