Rahul's overtures to Left rattles allies

Rahul's overtures to Left rattles allies


Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s overtures to the Left and key NDA ally JD(U) failed to cut ice and was met with a snub on Wednesday. His statements also rattled key Congress’ allies like Trinamool Congress and the DMK who felt it would send a wrong message to the voters.

With Congress keeping all post-poll options open and in search of new allies, AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha did not give hopes to the party saying she is not interested in discussing future alliances right now and that her focus was to win a maximum number of seats.

A day after Rahul talked of multiple post-poll choices and wooed the Left and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, CPM boss Prakash Karat again dealt a blow to Congress’ optimism of roping in the Left when he said the party has an option to sit in the Opposition and will not support the Congress in forming a government.

“I have said we have other option, we can sit in the Opposition...I don’t know how the Congress can expect us to support them,” Karat said in a strong sign that it is not budging from its stand not to support Congress.

Nitish, a top JD(U) leader, stuck to his stand that he was with the BJP and ruled out the possibility of a post-poll tie up with Congress.

“Yes, Yes. That is the case. How many times should I say this,” he said in reply to questions whether his party JD(U) has decided not not to align with the Congress after elections to form a government.

Congress new ally in West Bengal —Trinamool Congress—was irked by Rahul’s post-poll strategies and firmly opposed any Left-Congress alliance. Its chief Mamata Banerjee also reportedly made a threat to pull out of the UPA if the two estranged partners come together.

“Our position is clear. If the Congress joins hands with the CPM or the Left after the polls, we simply can’t continue with the alliance. There is no question of co-existence for us and the CPM,” a miffed Mamata reportedly reacted late on Tuesday.

DMK spokesman T K S Elangovan said Rahul’s attempts to reach out to new allies will send a wrong message that the Congress was not a steady party.

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