Monday, October 1, 2018

Rahul Gandhi meets new Congress West Bengal state unit: Party president doesn't rule out tie-up with TMC in 2019

Updated Date: Oct 01, 2018 10:39 AM

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had a gathering with the newly-constituted province Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) and its new chief Somen Mitra on weekday. The signals that the meeting perceived to transfer appear, initially sight, equivocal.

When Mitra replaced Adhir Choudhury on twenty one Sept as PCC president, the appointment was wide seen as an endeavor to clear the decks for AN understanding with the Trinamool Congress. Chowdhury has continuously been unwaveringly against the Trinamool Congress and his personal hostility against its boss Mamata Banerjee is accepted. Mitra is, however, seen as a a lot of versatile leader. even supposing Mamata compound ways in which with the Congress whereas he was president of the geographical region unit of the Congress, he had later left the party and in brief joined the Trinamool further. He so has connections with the ruling party.

On presumptuous workplace, Mitra had at first been guarded. He had not flatly dominated out the chance of change of integrity hands with the Trinamool, however he had same that even supposing AN alliance with the party would yield fruits within the short term, it might not be wise once seen from a long-run perspective. He had conjointly same that the Congress required to steady its ship before stepping into any alliance.

File image of Congress  President Rahul Gandhi. PTI

Rahul appears to own echoed that sentiment at Saturday's meeting. it's been reported  that leaders gift at the meeting later same that the party president created many necessary points: initial, Mitra said, he created it clear that the central leadership wouldn't impose its views on the state unit of the party as a result of he understood that a top-down approach wouldn't work; second, he stressed that the party mustn't compromise on its 'dignity' whereas negotiating a prospective alliance. Rahul is reported  to own same that though the party did not get one seat in geographical region to take care of its dignity, it might be acceptable.

After the meeting, Mitra reiterated his position that the party should realize its feet before pondering AN alliance, that suggests that this read was supported by the party president.

All this rhetoric regarding dignity and self-direction could sound smart, however it hardly masks the very fact that the Congress encompasses a ways to travel before it finds its feet in geographical region. It will not happen in something resembling a rush — on no account before the time involves take exhausting selections within the context of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The facts represent themselves. The Congress had a presence in exactly 2 districts: Malda and Murshidabad. within the 2014 Lok Sabha election, its voteshare was slightly below ten %, but that of the Left Front or Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It got four seats (the Left Front and BJP got 2 each) as a result of its votes area unit focused in these 2 districts. within the 2016 Assembly election, its voteshare was twelve.3 percent, however it absolutely was in AN alliance with the Left Front, that likely boosted the share of its vote.

In the interim, many things have modified. during this year's council elections, the BJP emerged because the second largest party in geographical region and therefore the solely credible opponents of the Trinamool Congress, replacing the Left Front. though the dynamics of the council and Lok Sabha area unit clearly totally different, nobody seriously doubts that the end result of this year's elections are replicated in 2019.

More necessary, the Trinamool Congress has destroyed the parent party's redoubts in Malda and Murshidabad. In Murshidabad, the Congress was worn out, with the BJP claudication to the finish means behind the ruling party. In Malda, it fared somewhat higher, however it's clear that the Trinamool currently holds the upper hand therein district further, with the BJP ingestion into Congress support.

If the Congress decides to fly solo, it's unlikely that it'll win something in Bengal; Rahul's zero out of forty two seats worst-case projection might play itself out. It may, at best, win one seat. though the party ties up with the Left Front, its prospects do not look nice. The combined voteshare of the 2 was thirty one % in 2016. Since then, each the Left and therefore the Congress have considerably lost ground — the primary to the BJP and therefore the second to the Trinamool.

If the Congress decides against coming into AN alliance with the Trinamool, it'll reach inconveniencing the ruling party to some extent, particularly considering the very fact that the BJP's challenge is changing into a lot of credible even supposing it's way nevertheless from being a true threat.

The question is: Is there any proportion in following for the Congress in following such a strategy?

The answer is: in all probability not.

The Congress has got to contribute saliently towards handicraft along a nationwide Opposition alliance against the BJP. UN agency will contribute a lot of to the present enterprise? The Left, that is probably going to win no more than ten seats in 2019, or the Trinamool, that is probably going to urge around forty seats? The Congress 'high command' should raise of itself a basic question: Is it value following the chimera of self-direction in geographical region simply to form some extent at the price of losing a valuable ally on the national stage?

The answers can, or ought to be, plain to the supreme headquarters, that is why, presumably, Chowdhury was replaced with Mitra. One doesn't grasp what Mitra was thinking once he reported  Rahul's reluctance to impose New Delhi's views on the PCC, however from wherever we tend to stand it will sound sort of a little bit of a joke.

The Congress supreme headquarters has been imposing its views and leaders, like Mitra, on PCCs for four decades some. Nothing went on that we've been educated regarding nevertheless that might have reworked the Congress party into a celebration imbued with the spirit of inner-party democracy. do not be stunned, then, if Rahul's next vital statement on geographical region ANnounces an alliance with the Trinamool Congress.

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