The statement made by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday (6 January), suggesting that the INDI Alliance would gather in "10 to 15 days" to decide on significant positions, has been met with disapproval from the JD(U). They have been advocating for their party leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to be appointed as the bloc's convener.
On Sunday, the JD(U) expressed disappointment over the statement made by the Congress chief, alleging that the INDIA alliance is "running out of time and ideas" in their effort to outsmart the BJP-led NDA.
JD(U) chief national spokesperson KC Tyagi expressed dissatisfaction with the Congress chief's response to media queries regarding the convener issue. He asserted that while there is still time to recover, it is crucial for the Congress to exhibit urgency to foster a dynamic INDI Alliance.
Tyagi questioned the Congress's decision to conduct its own Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, starting 14 January, rather than making it an INDI Alliance yatra. He argued that, in light of the BJP's successful build-up to the Ram Temple inauguration, it was crucial for the INDI Alliance to present a strong counter-narrative, including a demand for a nationwide caste survey and attention to other national issues.
Tyagi suggested that the Congress's yatra should have been a collective INDI Alliance Yatra with participation from all top alliance leaders. He also mentioned that the Congress did not consult with any of its allies before planning its Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.
While he welcomed the yatra, he pointed out that the timing was not ideal and that INDI Alliance was still in a state of confusion. He raised concerns about potential Lok Sabha polls following the Ram Temple opening, and the lack of clarity on seat-sharing, agenda, and leadership roles. Tyagi urged the Congress to demonstrate generosity and abandon its dominant attitude.
The leader of JD(U) expressed serious concern about the diverging paths of allied parties. He pointed out, "While West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary demanded President’s Rule after the ED team was attacked, CPI MP Binoy Viswam questioned the propriety of Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad. The DMK and the Congress have been also sparring in Tamil Nadu. The Congress should take immediate steps to stop the INDIA bloc from drifting away.”
When questioned about the discussions on seat-sharing, Tyagi suggested that the Congress party should endeavor to make room for its allies in states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.
He expressed a desire for a stronger Congress, but also a more robust INDI Alliance. He further advised the Congress not to cause uncertainty in the mind of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav by allegedly maintaining contact with the BSP.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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