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HomePoliticsFacing defeats in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Congress calls for I.N.D.I. Alliance meeting

Facing defeats in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Congress calls for I.N.D.I. Alliance meeting

Comprised of anti-BJP parties, the I.N.D.I. Alliance has had three meetings this year, in Patna, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

As the Congress confronts a debacle in the Hindi heartland, with trends electoral losses in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, in addition to a likely defeat in Chhattisgarh, the Grand Old Party has resorted to calling a meeting of the INDIA bloc on December 6. Comprised of anti-BJP parties, the I.N.D.I. Alliance has had three meetings this year, in Patna, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

Ahead of the next meeting, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has dialed his alliance partners, including Dravida Munetra Kazhagham (DMK) whose leader called for the eradication of Sanatan Dharma, and invited them to converge. Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar faction) leader Supriya Sule had given a hint after the Mumbai meeting that the next meeting will be held in the National capital. Seat sharing for Lok Sabha polls, which is just four to five months away, will likely be on the top of the agenda. The next INDIA bloc meeting would also be crucial for Congress, particularly so, as early trends show the party losing Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and even Chattisgarh Assembly polls, the Hindi heartland states which send a large number of members to the Parliament.

However, with crucial ally Samajwadi Party having taken a combative stance against the Congress in the assembly elections, the Congress could face challenges in this meeting. Notably, the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the Congress of betraying the SP by refusing to give it tickets to fight elections in Madhya Pradesh as part of a potential alliance with the Congress.

Congress and its rift with I.N.D.I. Alliance partners

It is worth recalling that said that in October this year, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav had said that he would not have gone to any meetings if he had known that there was no state-level cooperation between his party and the Congress. The rage surfaced after his party was utterly disregarded in the Madhya Pradesh assembly election. Never mind the promised six seats, the Samajwadi Party was not even assigned a single seat, leaving Akhilesh Yadav belittled and infuriated. Angered by the betrayal by the Congress party, the Samajwadi Party announced to contest the elections on its own and fielded its candidates in as many as 31 seats.

In addition to this, the Samajwadi Party also launched a poster war against the Congress. Akhilesh Yadav called Congress the “Chalu” party and wished for its defeat urging people not to vote for the party in the coming Lok Sabha elections. From ‘betraying’ alliance partners to now calling on a meeting, the Congress party’s desperation is apparent. The unexpected electoral results have shocked the party and also prompted its leaders to make sure that the I.N.D.I. Alliance partners don’t drift away before the Lok Sabha elections.

Interestingly, other than the Samajwadi Party, the Congress has also been at loggerheads with the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). From refusing to form an alliance in Punjab for the general assembly elections, rejecting Rahul Gandhi as an I.N.D.I. Alliance’s face and prime ministerial candidate against Narendra Modi, to Congress leader calling AAP a party of fools, these parties have been in perpetual conflict despite claiming to be allies.

In August this year, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit called AAP a party of fools while backing Alka Lamba’s assertion that AAP will contest 7 Lok Sabha seats from the capital city on its own.

In the same month, an embarrassing episode unfolded for the partners of the unholy alliance as AAP and Congress leaders entered into a war of words over “Mohalla clinics”. It was when Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao visited a Mohalla clinic in Panchsheel Park in Delhi accompanied by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj. While AAP and Delhi CM Kejriwal presented the visit as a praise for the Mohalla Clinics, however, Congress termed the clinics “overhyped”. Such incidents, apparently indicate the Congress party’s mindset that although the anti-BJP parties have to come together of out political compulsion, it remains the “big brother” and other parties are inferior.

In July this year, Bengal Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary attacked Trinamool Congress, another I.N.D.I. bloc ally saying that TMC joined the bloc only because it needs Congress. “She (Mamata) came to power in 2011 with the help of the Congress. Then she denied that. The people of the state have become disillusioned with Mamata Banerjee now. So, she felt that she should now join hands with Congress… The Trinamool now desperately needs the Congress,” Chowdhary said back then.

Regional parties have often alleged that being the grand old party, Congress tries to dominate them and treat them unfairly for its political benefit.

However, in democratic politics, the “Janadesh” is supreme. The Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh trends so far have alarmed the Congress party compelling it to shun arrogance and prevent the upset allies from drifting away since the I.N.D.I. Alliance’s September resolution was passed with a caveat: ‘as far as possible’.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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