Congress leader Rahul Gandhi answered various questions on Tuesday (6 February) as his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra was in Jharkhand, a state that recently got a new CM Champai Soren with the JMM-Congress alliance retaining power.
Gandhi claimed, "Mamata (Banerjee) ji is very much part of the INDIA alliance and most of the other members who are part of the INDIA alliance are still members of the INDIA alliance."
This comes after the West Bengal Chief Minister pledged to not share a single seat with the Congress in the state citing its weak position as Congress does not have even one MLA in the state assembly.
Since Mamata Banerjee has not declared leaving the INDI Alliance, Gandhi's statements are technically correct but it remains unclear how without sharing a single seat she will be part of the opposition bloc.
Gandhi noted that only Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had left the alliance and had gone to the BJP. Despite this, the Congress will contest in Bihar as the INDI Alliance with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as a major partner.
Notably, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) too has been flexing muscles lately in Uttar Pradesh by declaring 16 Lok Sabha candidates unilaterally. While Gandhi didn't directly address this, he said, "Negotiations are going on, so there is posturing and it is normal."
Other than INDI Alliance, he responded to another issue that the BJP has been raising by sharing a video clip. The BJP alleged that Gandhi gave a biscuit rejected by a dog to a party worker.
On this, Gandhi said, "I called the dog and the owner. The dog was nervous, shivering and when I tried to feed it, the dog got scared. So I gave biscuits to the dog's owner and the dog ate them from his hand. I don't understand what's the issue with it."
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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