Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Thursday that his party and SP are in principle fighting together in the country over issues like unemployment, corruption and inflation and that their DNA for the Constitution and the nation is the same.
Surjewala's remarks came amid public discord between the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) over seat-sharing for next month's assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh. Both parties are partners in the opposition bloc INDIA.
"We have been talking to our INDIA alliance friends from time to time. Sometimes coordination with them (on issues) gets established and sometimes it may not. But in principle and in terms of policies, we are fighting together in the country on the issues of unemployment, inflation and corruption," he said.
It is like a father having four sons and all of them living in different houses, he said. "But their DNA for the Constitution and the country will remain same," Surjewala told reporters when asked about SP president Akhilesh Yadav's public outburst over the Congress not having a truck with the latter's party ahead of polls in BJP-governed MP.
Earlier, Yadav had said that his party leaders wouldn't have answered calls from the Congress for a meeting in MP had he known that the INDIA grouping was confined to the national level. When asked about it, state Congress President Kamal Nath had told media persons not to talk about "Akhilesh-Vakhilesh".
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Surjewala alleged that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan cheated the people by first waiving their outstanding electricity bills of up to 1 kilowatt and then recovering the amount by changing the sanctioned load without their consent.
The announcement about the waiver was made by the CM at a programme in Naugaon in August this year.
Surjewala said after Chouhan's announcement, the electricity companies in their respective regions raised the sanctioned load of 80 to 90 per cent of consumers from '1 KW to 2 KW' without their mandatory consent to commit "fraud" with them.
Surjewala claimed that the Congress studied the data of 38 divisions of 21 districts and found that the sanctioned load of 3,85,953 consumers were changed without informing them.
The Congress also shared a pen drive with the media claiming that it contains the details in support of its allegation.
Responding to a question about recommendations by a panel of the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) to replace "India" with "Bharat" in its textbooks, Surjewala said that it is a ploy of the BJP to deflect people's attention from core issues.
"They will never talk about growing unemployment and their promise of providing jobs, inflation and 'patwari' (revenue department staffers) recruitment exam scam among others. They raise only those issues that deviate the people's attention," he added.
Polling in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 17 and counting of votes will take place on December 3.