Senior Congress leader Manickam Tagore underscored the importance of alliances and said it is the state level leaders in the Hindi heartland who need to understand it. Speaking to Newsbust India a day after the party’s crushing defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, Mr Tagore addressed the tide of criticism coming the way of the Congress.
The party’s Central leaders, he said, understand the need for alliances. Now the state-level leaders “need to understand the value of alliances”. This, however, is because of the binary nature of politics in states like Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, he contended.
“It is tough for the Congress to understand the importance of alliances because in states like MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan there is no alliance politics,” Manickam Tagore told Newsbust India.
The situation, he added, is different in state like Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Maharashtra. “There we know the importance of alliance politics. In other states it takes a lot of time, because we think we are sacrificing our seats… State level leaders need to understand the value of alliances,” he added.
He also underscored that the Congress should give tickets only after researching then prospects of a candidate, instead of handing out tickets based on track record or other parameters.
The Congress has come under sharp criticism for denying seats to the Samajwadi Party in Madhya Pradesh. They did not collaborate with the CPM in Rajasthan either.
The latest instance of ticket refusal has confirmed its reputation as a party that’s not a team player — a perception that its new chief Mallikarjun Kharge is trying to dispel.
While SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had been vocal about Kamal Nath’s negative reaction to the seat sharing proposal, which was to a pilot project for the INDIA bloc, other Opposition leaders have gone public with their criticism after the Congress’s defeat.
“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,” National Conference chief Omar Abdullah was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
“Judging the results of INDIA alliance in the state elections, if the situation is like this in the future, we cannot win,” he told reporters yesterday.
On whether his party will be contesting with the INDIA bloc for the state assembly elections, Mr Abdullah said, “The NC will be standing on its own”.
“Congress has won Telangana. They would have won Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan,” Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said.
“Some votes were cut by INDIA parties. This is the truth. We had said suggested a seat-sharing arrangement. They lost because of division of votes,” she told the state assembly today.
The Congress has called an “informal” meeting of the INDIA bloc on November 6. Ms Banerjee said she would skip it.