Leaders divided over allies for UPA III

Congress leaders attending the “Chintan Shivir” here have tacitly admitted that forming the next government at the Centre based on their performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha election is a distant possibility.

In the discussion on strengthening the party organisation, several leaders expressed their views frankly about choosing pre-poll and post-poll alliance partners to keep their hopes alive on returning to power.

The party seems to be divided on finding new alliance partners for UPA III. 

A section of the party led by Union Minister Kamal Nath advocated keeping a minimum number of pre-poll partners for maximum returns in the next general election.

He said: “We should be careful while selecting pre-poll partners. We should enter into a pre-poll alliance with only those parties which can give us maximum electoral dividends. Too many pre-poll alliances will be detrimental.

The question of post-poll alliance is always in the realm of possibilities which we can think only after the elections.”  However, another section advocated a grand alliance of like-minded parties to keep the saffron forces at bay and also to avoid arm-twisting and post-poll manipulations by the smaller groups. 

The leaders also advocated exercising extreme prudence over entry of leaders from other political formations. Vilas Muthumwar from Maharashtra said: “We should not encourage people from other parties to join the Congress.

This has done no good to the party. Compromising with ideology will do irreparable damage and it only helps defectors.” 

He also said the strength of a party lies in its ideology and “free incoming” and “outgoing” would only jeopardise and cause heartburn to genuine leaders.

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