As one problem of ‘India Alliance’ subsides, another one arises. Nitish Kumar has not only given a big blow by separating, on the other hand the ED’s raids on opposition leaders for the last two weeks have also shaken him. In such a situation, the question arises, how will the remaining alliance be able to strengthen itself for the Lok Sabha elections? What is the current status of India Alliance and what are the challenges ahead? Our representative Dr. Ramesh Thakur had a detailed conversation with Congress national spokesperson Pawan Kheda regarding all these issues. Here are the main parts of the conversation-
Question: Where does ‘India Alliance’ stand now after Nitish Kumar left the alliance?
Answer- Almost all the strong opposition parties of the country are part of ‘India Alliance’. If we compare them, there are around 38-40 political parties there. Only one of our teams is enough to compete with them. On the other hand, there are dozens of parties which have only a president and no one else. Overall, NDA is strong on paper only, not on ground? After Nitish Kumar’s departure, I feel the alliance is now moving in the right direction. See, it takes a steely heart to take on a dictatorial regime. Does laying down weapons in the middle of a fight mean getting scared or surrendering? But, some people also introduced it. Perhaps his courage had given way and he surrendered. Perhaps there is no need to tell how surrendered soldiers are treated? Results will be visible very quickly. I can say with certainty that when the results of Lok Sabha elections come, the result of India Alliance will surprise everyone.
Question: Where did things suddenly go wrong, why did Nitish Kumar become disillusioned?
Answer: This question should be asked only to them, only they will be able to give the correct answer. The entire Bihar is also demanding the answer to this question from him. Sometimes he used to say, ‘I will die, but will not join NDA’, but did you go? He not only kept the India alliance in the dark, but also grossly betrayed the people of Bihar. Let’s see, BJP will swallow him now. How much nonsense did he say about the Prime Minister and the Home Minister? We will take revenge by using the Lok Sabha election results as a medium. By showing the beautiful dreams of Mungerilal, the Prime Minister has already said in the Lok Sabha that 370 seats will go to BJP and 400 to NDA? This means that the parties included in NDA will get only one seat each. Mathematics also shows that many parties are going to remain empty handed.
Question: On one hand, Rahul Gandhi’s visit, on the other hand, the planning of alliance, how are both being managed together?
Answer- The core team of ‘India Alliance’ is busy in its upcoming meetings and plans. Who is in touch with all the parties. The earlier plans have now been changed. A strategy for talks has been made at the state level. At the same time, senior members of the party are watching Rahul Gandhi’s journey. Jairam Ramesh and other leaders are accompanying him on the yatra. Rahul Gandhi’s visit is creating new consciousness among the countrymen. Every section of the society is joining them, people are leaving their work place and coming together. The countrymen are looking towards Rahul ji with hopeful eyes. Actually, the country wants change. People are fed up with hate politics. The country is hurting due to unemployment and inflation, Rahul Gandhi is out to get rid of it.
Question: Perhaps the biggest resentment of the coalition parties is mostly visible regarding seat distribution?
Answer- There are some hidden issues in politics which are not made public. There has been no brainstorming on seat distribution yet. Whereas, all the parties are more engaged in strategies to contest the elections together. BJP people are spreading such rumors through media. As far as seat sharing is concerned, the central leadership will form a consensus with the alliance parties and a formula will be made at the state level and then sheet sharing will happen accordingly. At present there is not even an iota of opposition anywhere on this issue.
Question: Is Congress considering sheet sharing with ‘AAP’ in Delhi and ‘SP’ in UP as a big challenge?
Answer- Talks regarding seat sharing are in the final stages in both the states. The formula has almost been decided. Everything will be clarified in the upcoming meetings. Apart from Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, there has been churning with allies in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Telangana and other major states. Where those who have influence will be given that much priority. First of all, we are conducting a survey internally on those seats where our hold is a little weak. There is more focus on why they are weak and how to strengthen them. See, people of BJP are scared since the first day of formation of India Alliance. They are adopting all kinds of tactics to make us fight among ourselves and scatter the opposition parties. Various types of things are spread in the media. If any leader does not attend the meeting of India Alliance due to his personal problems, then these people propagate that so and so party is angry.
Question: How do you see ED’s intensified action against opposition parties?
Answer: Creating fear is nothing but creating psychological pressure in elections. At present, about 97 percent of ED’s raids are on opposition leaders. Serious cases of leaders like Ajit Pawar, Narayan Rane, Shubhendu Adhikari and Hemant Biswa Sarma have been closed because they have washed themselves by entering the BJP’s washing machine. The country is watching how the present government is using ED. But we are not afraid of ED at all. How much trouble will you do? Jharkhand episode is fresh, Hemant Soren has said that if the allegations of corruption against him are proved true, then he will leave politics? What could be bigger than this? Arvind Kejriwal and his leaders are being put in jail one by one. The public is also watching this. Look, our political ideologies may be different. But Congress never calls wrong right. Are we raising our voice against injustice and will continue to do so? No matter how many troubles we have to face for that.
-As Congress leader Pawan Kheda told Dr. Ramesh Thakur in conversation