Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Revanth Reddy.
New Delhi: Faultlines in the Opposition’s INDIA bloc became apparent on Sunday as several parties blamed the Congress for its 3-0 drubbing against the Bharatiya Janata Party in Hindi heartland states Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Congress allies like Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal(United), Trinamool Congress launched sharp attacks against the Mallikarjun Kharge-led party, accusing it of ignoring its INDIA partners.
Nitish Kumar’s JDU took a jibe at the Congress saying it was clear that the party couldn’t win the elections alone. JDU leader KC Tyagi said it was the Congress defeat, not a win for the BJP. He also said that the INDIA bloc was missing in the elections as the Congress never invited its allies for consultation. “It is very necessary now for everyone to strengthen the INDIA bloc. If the alliance meeting was called a couple of months earlier, it would have been good,” he said.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said INDIA alliance would not be able to win the 2024 general elections “if the situation is like this in the future”.
“Neither could they save Chhattisgarh, nor win back Madhya Pradesh nor could they win in Rajasthan again,” he said.
Abdullah also pointed out the delay in calling INDIA alliance meeting. “On December 6, the Congress chief has invited some INDIA alliance leaders for lunch. They recalled the INDIA alliance after three months. Let’s see,” he said.
He also questioned the Congress party’s decision to not give Samajwadi Party seats to contest the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
“Either the Congress has not been able to understand the ground situation in Madhya Pradesh. What harm could have happened if they had given 5-7 seats to Akhilesh Yadav. What storm could have blown? What have they won now? The results are in front of everyone now,” he said.
The Trinamool Congress blamed the Congress party for its defeat. The CPIM, however, supported Rahul Gandhi.
“In the three states, it is more of a Congress failure than a success story of the BJP,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said in a social media message.
“TMC is the party which can provide the leadership in the battle to defeat the BJP in the country,” he added.
RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha said after the defeat, the Congress realised the importance of “collectivism” against the BJP’s “self-centred” politics.
“Leaders like our national president Lalu Prasad and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have acknowledged that among all partners in the INDIA coalition, the Congress has the largest footprint. But, now, the ball is in the Congress’ court. It ought to realise that Narendra Modi’s conceit cannot be fought with conceit,” Jha added.
“I am sure Congress will realise that self-centred politics of BJP can be beaten only through collectivism. In the days to come, much better coordination within INDIA may be there for all to see,” he added.
The Samajwadi Party, which had a massive row with the Congress in the run-up to the elections, said it was Kamal Nath’s “indecent” statements against Akhilesh Yadav that led to its defeat.
“Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath gave an indecent statement against the SP chief. He called the SP chief, who has been a four-time MP and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh as ‘Akhilesh-Vakhilesh’ due to which not only Madhya Pradesh, but the people of Bahujan class and backward classes were hurt, and its adverse effect was reflected in the results,” SP spokesperson Manoj Singh Yadav.
The Samajwadi Party had called the Congress party’s refusal to give seats “betrayal”.
The BJP bagged 54 seats in Chhattisgarh, the Congress 35. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP won 163 seats against the Congress’s 66 seats. In Rajasthan, the BJP won 115 seats against the Congress’s 69.
The Congress won the assembly elections in Telangana with 64 seats. The BRS won 39 seats, the BJP 8 and the AIMIM 7 seats.
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