Terming the BSP-JD(S) alliance for the Karnataka Assembly elections a "negotiation" strategy, the Congress has said that Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has not learnt lessons from her defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. The BSP and the Janata Dal (Secular) have announced they are entering into an alliance for the Karnataka polls. The partnership will continue in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BSP leader Satish Chandra Misra and JD(S)'s Danish Ali told reporters on Thursday. "I think Mayawati's moves are often political.
Her objective is to negotiate (for seats)," Congress leader M V Rajeev Gowda told PTI-Bhasha. The Rajya Sabha MP from Karnakata said Mayawati had twice been taught lesson in Uttar Pradesh, when the opposition remained fractured. The Congress had to face a triangular contest and the BJP swept the polls in the state. Mayawati managed to get 20 per cent votes, though her party did not win a seat. The Congress has said the opposition parties will unite and accept Congress president Rahul Gandhi's leadership for the 2019 general elections, against the BJP's alleged communal agenda. Asked who the next prime ministerial candidate from the Congress would be, Gowda said: "I believe it will be Rahul Gandhi." He said the fight during the next general elections would be to "save India" and being the leader of the largest opposition party, Gandhi would be "acceptable to everyone". He claimed the Sangh Parivar was constantly trying to vitiate the communal fabric of the country. He said the country's economy and the agriculture sector were going through a rough patch and the ruling BJP was unable to fulfil the promises it had made to people in its election manifesto. Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks about "kabristan", "shamshaan" and "Pakistan", when he feels his poll campaign is not yielding results, Gowda said. He asked what has Modi earned from his foreign visits and what was happening in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector? "We are seeing that the Chinese troop deployment in the area has increased. In Pakistan, one day you go to a birthday party, the second day you talk (with them) and then on the third you invite the ISI to India to probe Pathankot attack." Gowda said Modi's "only focus is on managing headlines." He said there's trouble brewing in India's neighbourhood: "China is trying to encircle India. It is trying to intervene in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. What are we doing to challenge it?" Gowda is the chief of Congress's research department, which tries to bring the focus back on ideas, policies and facts. He said during the Gujarat election his team focused the development issues in the state and by doing this they had effectively questioned the Gujarat model of development. Gowda said his team also helps the Congress Parliamentary Party to effectively put forth the issues faced by people. He claimed that the Rafale fighter deal was back in focus because of the questions he had asked Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Gowda had asked the per unit cost of the French Rafale twin-engine fighter jet in parliament, but Sitharaman said the government will not be able to divulge the details because of a secrecy pact between the Indian and the French governments. The Congress had tried to corner the BJP government at the Centre during the Budget session of Parliament over the deal.
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