New Delhi: Leaders of opposition parties are anti-BJP, but they are unwilling to adjust or sacrifice seats to defeat it, said CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, raising questions on the leadership of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and other regional parties.
In a scathing indictment of Gandhi, Reddy, in an interview to PTI, said that his decision to let Congress state units have their say on seat-sharing issues has led to the breakdown in talks with other political parties.
“We feel the Congress should have been more large- hearted. Rahul Gandhi did not assert to make his state committees accept the understanding on the ground with other parties. Also, regional parties like SP, BSP, RJD are also responsible for the failure in talks.
“I believe the leadership is responsible. They were driven by local agenda, narrow outlook…They are all anti-BJP, but they are not ready to adjust or sacrifice some of their seats (to defeat the BJP),” he said.
Reddy said the inability of the Congress and the regional parties to see national interest ahead of local agendas had resulted in the failure of seat-sharing talks between opposition parties in states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.
Criticising the Congress president over his handling of the pre-poll talks with other parties, Reddy said that Gandhi should have pushed for alliances.
“He left it to the state leadership. Gave them too much freedom,” he alleged.
While the talks between the Left Front and the Congress in West Bengal have virtually failed over seat- sharing, the opposition Mahagathbandhan in Bihar has left the Left Front in the cold by denying them any seat. The Congress on its part has ruled out any understanding with the AAP in Delhi, while even in Uttar Pradesh the party is going alone.
“In West Bengal, we had offered the Congress 12 seats based on vote share, four they had won and in eight they had come second. They wanted 17 seats…In Bihar too we had an understanding with Lalu Prasad Yadav, I don’t know what was conveyed to his son. However, now, we will go independently.
“The Congress should have taken more initiative and also begun and finalised talks on seat-sharing early,” he said.
The CPI leader said that it was unfortunate that the opposition was struggling to weave understandings at the ground level to take on the saffron party, despite the BJP being on the backfoot after loses in several bypolls and the recent setback in three Hindi heartland states.
“While we always said that a national level alliance was not possible, we hoped that there would be a ground understanding between the opposition parties. But that unfortunately has not happened in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi and in some other states. So, certainly this will have a negative effect.
“Now, the only way is to make post poll alliances,” he said.
The CPI, he said, will contest around 50 seats in the 2019 elections and their main mantra would be -“Modi hatao, Desh Bachao”.
The CPI has tied up with the LDF in Kerala, has an understanding with the DMK in Tamil Nadu, tied up with the Congress in Odisha, with the BSP and a splinter group of AAP in Punjab and has an understanding with the BSP, the Jana Sena and the CPM in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
“We still believe that non-BJP, anti-BJP parties will be in majority and will form the government,” he said. (PTI)
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