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Congress leaders look at regional alliances in a bid to take on BJP

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At the CWC meet, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram makes a presentation on alliance possibilities.

New Delhi: At the first meeting of the newly-formed Congress Working Committee Sunday, chaired by party president Rahul Gandhi, a number of state and national leaders came out in full support of alliances with like-minded parties at the earliest.

In an indication of its plans for the general elections, the move suggests that Congress will give enough space to regional forces like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party and others. The party is already in talks with BSP for an alliance in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

This was an extended working committee meeting where more than 200 Congress office bearers and leaders participated. He had earlier announced a new CWC Tuesday.

The suggestion to go for an alliance came from the top as well as state leaders. Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi also stressed upon the need to forge alliances.

“The rhetoric of PM Narendra Modi shows his desperation reflecting that reverse countdown of Modi government has begun,” said Sonia Gandhi. “We are committed to make alliances work and we are all with Rahul Gandhi in this endeavour. We have to rescue people from a dangerous regime that is compromising the democracy in India,” she added.

Chidambaram formula

As per sources, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram made a presentation on alliances in the CWC meeting. Chidambaram said that Congress is strong in 12 states where it can win three times more seats compared to the last Lok Sabha elections. As per his formula, these states could deliver 150 seats to the party.

For the remaining states, Chidambaram said tactical alliances with regional players was important to stop the BJP from coming to power again.

The CWC is discussing party strategy in the wake of current political situation in the country and the upcoming assembly as well as general elections 2019.

A number of state leaders suggested that the party should be open to regional alliances wherever necessary in order to take upon the BJP. Rahul Gandhi is supposed to hold separate meetings with state leaders in the coming days.

In his opening speech, Rahul Gandhi came up with an explanation about the new CWC. He called the new 51-member CWC a vibrant mix of the old guard and young faces. “The new CWC is an institution comprising experience and energy and it will act as a bridge between the past, present and the future,” he said.

The issue of mob violence was also raised by some of the leaders. P.L. Punia, the party in-charge of Chhattisgarh, said the party should strongly condemn such acts and work towards assuring the larger mass of security and life without fear.

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