'Rainbow alliance can check Modi'

The Congress believes that only a rainbow alliance across several states could help tackle the BJP’s Narendra Modi juggernaut, which pollsters put in an advantageous position in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

However, the party is not adopting a “one size fits all” approach and is examining the long-term prospects of its growth in states where alliances would be inevitable.

“We are adopting a state specific approach. What may be beneficial for us in Bihar may not hold true elsewhere,” a senior Congress leader said.

The party has identified Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh as states where having an alliance partner would give it a leg up in the Lok Sabha elections expected to be held in April-May.

While in Tamil Nadu, after the DMK announcement that it would not go with the Congress in the general elections the focus has shifted on smaller parties as AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa might prove to be a tough customer.

“We are in touch with some parties in Tamil Nadu,” a senior leader said without giving details.

It is learnt that the Congress is keen on having a pre-poll alliance with the DMDK and some smaller outfits.

Defence Minister A K Antony, who has been tasked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to finalise coalition partners, has asked AICC general secretaries to submit their reports on possible allies within the next week.

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