‘Difficult for Congress to come to power in 2019 on its own’, says Salman Khurshid

Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid feels that it is difficult for Congress to come to power in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections on its own as reported by Indian Express.

“It is difficult for the party to come to power on its own in the present situation, but opposition alliance must not be formed at the “cost of containing Congress”. The allies should also be ready to make sacrifices and adjustments for defeating the BJP in the 2019 general elections”, he told PTI in an interview.

Expressing the keenness of his party to form an alliance against the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Khurshid said, “All our leaders have made it very clear that an alliance (is needed) to change the country’s government. BJP must go. Whatever it takes to sacrifice, adjust and negotiate to make the alliance a reality, Congress is willing to do. But it is only fair that it should be the same attitude of other (opposition) parties.”

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Talking about the possibility of Congress coming to power on its own he said, “It is obviously difficult today. If that is the objective (majority on its own) then we will have to work over a period of five years. Because you cannot work towards an alliance for three years and then suddenly say we will fight to win (on our own). You have to fight for five years. Today we are committed to the alliance and we will do our very best to ensure that the alliance succeed”.

While making a comparison between Congress and the other parties of grand alliance, he said, “Congress is the only party that gets seats from all over the country and all other (opposition) parties get seats from their respective states”.

“Now the elasticity in numbers is much greater when you are talking of seats from all over the country and when you are talking of seats only from your state. This is the practical reality with which all the leaders have to deal with an open mind,” he added.

Forming a grand alliance does not appear to be easy as it seems right now. BSP Chief Mayawati has decided to go alone in the upcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Samajwadi Party has also decided not to forge an alliance with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, blaming it of being non-committal for too long.

Reminding the opposition parties of the objective of the grand alliance Khurshid said, “the objective of the grand alliance is to defeat the Modi government. If the participants of the grand alliance forget this objective, then obviously it won’t happen and it will be a loss for every party and the country”.

Khurshid expressed hope of getting BSP back in fold saying that the issues in the assembly polls are different from those of the Lok Sabha polls. “Once these five state elections give us some indications of what the public mood is, tying up the grand alliance may become easier,” he said.

Regarding the issue of the post of Prime Minister Khurshid said, “the post of prime minister won’t be an issue in forging the grand alliance when opposition leaders have clearly said that the issue will be decided once the alliance win the election. I think those who are raising this issue (prime ministership) do not want us to succeed against the BJP.”

Khurshid showered praises on his party President Rahul Gandhi for “infusing fresh energy
and determination” into the party and said it was a time for making sacrifices and give the best to the party. “We lost some elections, but we won Punjab and kept the BJP away in Karnataka. In some places, we were ahead of BJP, but they misused power to form government…the upcoming elections in five states will be a measure of how much we have got back on our feet in the last four years,” he said.

Dismissing BJP’s claim that the opposition alliance did not have a leader Khurshid said that there were “leaders in the opposition alliance” along with four to five strong regional parties and that the “Congress even in its weak form is strong across the country”.

Criticizing the foreign policy of Modi government he said, “the Modi government had failed to build upon on what they had got from the previous governments and nothing much to show in terms of accomplishments”.

Khurshid blamed the Modi government for injecting disharmony in the society and called it ‘disastrous’.

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