Rahul's 3-pronged strategy for LS 2019 poll alliances

Rahul's 3-pronged strategy for LS 2019 poll alliances

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

As per the plans, the Congress will enter into alliances with regional outfits opposed to the BJP in the states. Karnataka became the latest state to be added to the list where the Congress already has a coalition partner in the Janata Dal (Secular).

Such alliances exist in Maharashtra, where Congress has shared power with the NCP, and in Bihar where Lalu Prasad's RJD is a trusted ally. Similarly, Congress has an understanding with DMK in Tamil Nadu, the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir and is warming up to Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

In Jharkhand, the Congress has a coalition partner in Shibu Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

In states where the Congress has been marginalised – such as Uttar Pradesh and Odisha – the grand old party appears ready to take a back seat and play the role of a catalyst in strengthening anti-BJP forces.

Congress is warming up to the idea to allow the SP-BSP combine to take centre-stage in Uttar Pradesh to take on Modi, while it may be amenable to add muscle to anti-BJP forces in Odisha by even having a tacit understanding with arch-rival BJD.

'Will beat BJP'

“We have protected the voice of the people of Karnataka. We will do the same for every state. The Opposition together will beat the BJP,” Gandhi told reporters after the Congress-JD(S) combine succeeded in stopping the BJP forming the government in  Karnataka.

In other states – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh – the Congress is in a direct fight with the BJP and Gandhi has the task to strength the organisation to take on Modi.

Gandhi's interactions with opposition leaders are focussed on taking these ideas forward to put up a formidable challenge against Modi in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.