West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Somen Mitra on Thursday claimed that many leaders from other parties are "more than eager" to join his party in the state, but are holding themselves back as they were unsure if Congress would have an alliance with Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.
"There are many leaders (from opposition parties) in the state who are more than eager to join Congress as it is the only alternative to the communal forces. But some of them are sceptical because they do not know what would happen to them if Congress joins hands with Trinamool in Bengal in future," Mitra said on a day when close to 2,000 activists from Trinamool Congress, BJP and other political parties formally joined Congress.
"Today close to 2,000 activists from Trinamool Congress, BJP, UDF (United Democratic Front) and People's Democratic Conference of India (PDCI) have joined Congress. I think this would help the state Congress to shake off the image of being a signboard and start its journey towards revival," he said.
The veteran leader, however, refused to comment on whether the party would join hands with state's ruling Trinamool Congress, stating it is up to the central leadership to decide.
"We could not give them (leaders of other parties) assurance regarding anything because we are, after all, a state unit of an all-India party. So any decision in this regard would be taken by the party's all-India leadership. But hopefully, many would join us once our stand is made clear," he said.
He also claimed that Congress will revive under the leadership of party president Rahul Gandhi as it is the only force that can unite the nation against communal forces.
"Congress will revive under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, because it is the only force to unite India and fight against communal forces. Our aim is to stand on our own feet first. Then we will decide about electoral strategies," he said.
When asked whether Gandhi will be present in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's mega anti-BJP rally in Kolkata on January 19, Mitra said he has not discussed the matter with the party president.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)