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Congress bats for strategic alliances to counter BJP in 2019

Congress, which was keen to present Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4

Amit Agnihotri  |  New Delhi 

mani, mani shankar
Mani Shankar Aiyar

Strategic alliances, rather than building up a narrative against the Bharatiya Janata Party should be the focus of the Congress, ahead of the 2019 general elections, party strategists feel.

The Congress, which was keen to present the recent five Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4 after the manipulated smaller parties to form governments in Goa and Manipur. has charged the saffron party of using money power to block the from coming to power in the two states.

After veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar suggested going back to the 2003 formula under which party chief Sonia Gandhi forged strategic alliances and took back power from the NDA at the centre in 2004, senior leader expressed similar views.

Noting the political narrative has changed in the country, Joshi cited the example of Bihar Assembly polls in 2015 where a JD-U-RJD-grand alliance defeated the BJP-led NDA.

According to Joshi, a similar formation could have stopped the in Uttar Pradesh also but Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati played the spoil sport.

Doing some number crunching, the leader said that while the vote share in UP had dropped from 43 per cent in 2014 to 39 per cent in 2017, the SP plus vote share is around 29 per cent. If BSP's 23 percent was added, the SP, BSP, combined vote share would be 53 per cent, much ahead of the saffron party.

"Wait for 2019, there will be no space for in UP," said Joshi.

In contrast, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury favoured building up a narrative against the through a dialogue between like-minded parties and public movements on the ground.

According to Yechury, doing maths is a more academic exercise while mobilising popular support in favour of a political philosophy is what will educate the voter and bring about a change in his preferences.

Citing the example of West Bengal, where the had an informal seat adjustment with Yechury's party, the leader said a convergence of non-votes will have to be worked at.

"We will do everything that is required to challenge and expose Modi but political challenges vary from state to state," said Joshi.

Incidentally, when the Congress-led UPA defeated the in 2004 polls, the Left parties supported the formation from outside and kept in floating till 2008 when they pulled out over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

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Congress bats for strategic alliances to counter BJP in 2019

Congress, which was keen to present Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4

Strategic alliances, rather than building up a national narrative against the BJP should be the focus of the Congress, ahead of the 2019 national elections, party strategists feel.The Congress, which was keen to present the recent five assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4 after the BJP manipulated smaller parties to form governments in Goa and Manipur. Rahul Gandhi has charged the saffron party of using money power to block the Congress from coming to power in the two states.After veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar suggested going back to the 2003 formula under which party chief Sonia Gandhi forged strategic alliances and took back power from the NDA at the centre in 2004, senior leader CP Joshi expressed similar views.Noting the political narrative has changed in the country, Joshi cited the example of Bihar assembly polls in 2015 where a JD-U-RJD-Congress grand alliance defeated the BJP-led NDA.According to Joshi, a similar formation could have stopped the BJP in Uttar .
Strategic alliances, rather than building up a narrative against the Bharatiya Janata Party should be the focus of the Congress, ahead of the 2019 general elections, party strategists feel.

The Congress, which was keen to present the recent five Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4 after the manipulated smaller parties to form governments in Goa and Manipur. has charged the saffron party of using money power to block the from coming to power in the two states.

After veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar suggested going back to the 2003 formula under which party chief Sonia Gandhi forged strategic alliances and took back power from the NDA at the centre in 2004, senior leader expressed similar views.

Noting the political narrative has changed in the country, Joshi cited the example of Bihar Assembly polls in 2015 where a JD-U-RJD-grand alliance defeated the BJP-led NDA.

According to Joshi, a similar formation could have stopped the in Uttar Pradesh also but Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati played the spoil sport.

Doing some number crunching, the leader said that while the vote share in UP had dropped from 43 per cent in 2014 to 39 per cent in 2017, the SP plus vote share is around 29 per cent. If BSP's 23 percent was added, the SP, BSP, combined vote share would be 53 per cent, much ahead of the saffron party.

"Wait for 2019, there will be no space for in UP," said Joshi.

In contrast, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury favoured building up a narrative against the through a dialogue between like-minded parties and public movements on the ground.

According to Yechury, doing maths is a more academic exercise while mobilising popular support in favour of a political philosophy is what will educate the voter and bring about a change in his preferences.

Citing the example of West Bengal, where the had an informal seat adjustment with Yechury's party, the leader said a convergence of non-votes will have to be worked at.

"We will do everything that is required to challenge and expose Modi but political challenges vary from state to state," said Joshi.

Incidentally, when the Congress-led UPA defeated the in 2004 polls, the Left parties supported the formation from outside and kept in floating till 2008 when they pulled out over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
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Business Standard
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Congress bats for strategic alliances to counter BJP in 2019

Congress, which was keen to present Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4

Strategic alliances, rather than building up a narrative against the Bharatiya Janata Party should be the focus of the Congress, ahead of the 2019 general elections, party strategists feel.

The Congress, which was keen to present the recent five Assembly polls as a 3:2 match, had to be content with 1:4 after the manipulated smaller parties to form governments in Goa and Manipur. has charged the saffron party of using money power to block the from coming to power in the two states.

After veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar suggested going back to the 2003 formula under which party chief Sonia Gandhi forged strategic alliances and took back power from the NDA at the centre in 2004, senior leader expressed similar views.

Noting the political narrative has changed in the country, Joshi cited the example of Bihar Assembly polls in 2015 where a JD-U-RJD-grand alliance defeated the BJP-led NDA.

According to Joshi, a similar formation could have stopped the in Uttar Pradesh also but Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati played the spoil sport.

Doing some number crunching, the leader said that while the vote share in UP had dropped from 43 per cent in 2014 to 39 per cent in 2017, the SP plus vote share is around 29 per cent. If BSP's 23 percent was added, the SP, BSP, combined vote share would be 53 per cent, much ahead of the saffron party.

"Wait for 2019, there will be no space for in UP," said Joshi.

In contrast, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury favoured building up a narrative against the through a dialogue between like-minded parties and public movements on the ground.

According to Yechury, doing maths is a more academic exercise while mobilising popular support in favour of a political philosophy is what will educate the voter and bring about a change in his preferences.

Citing the example of West Bengal, where the had an informal seat adjustment with Yechury's party, the leader said a convergence of non-votes will have to be worked at.

"We will do everything that is required to challenge and expose Modi but political challenges vary from state to state," said Joshi.

Incidentally, when the Congress-led UPA defeated the in 2004 polls, the Left parties supported the formation from outside and kept in floating till 2008 when they pulled out over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

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Business Standard
177 22