New Delhi : The Congress may be basking in the reflected glory of its surprise win in Bihar where it got an unprecedented 27 out of the 41 seats it contested as a junior partner of the three party grand alliance dominated by the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal United, but it remains ambivalent about whether such alliances are the future course for it.
”The party shall decide on the basis of the situation that prevails in each state, and we shall let you know our position after the Election Commission announces the poll schedule,” said party spokesperson C P Joshi.
At the same time, Joshi would not endorse the strategy of declaring the chief ministerial candidate well in advance as an essential ingredient of the recipe for success. “ This depends on the circumstances in the state and other political factors,” he observed.Joshi who described Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as one of the heroes of the Bihar victory for his role as the architect of the grand alliance also stressed that the time had come for the Gandhi heir apparent to take over as party president. “For Bihar, he was firm that the chief ministerial candidate should be announced first, and this paid us dividends. This was his leadership role and the workers want him to be in that position,” he said. This stance reflects the new found confidence of the Rahul supporters in his leadership after the Bihar success. The same view had been expressed by former union finance minister P Chidambaram after the results started pouring in from Bihar.
But the alliance questions demands clarity from the Congress, considering that crucial state assembly elections are lined up in Assam, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu over the next two years, and barring Punjab the party’s chances are pretty dim or non-existent if it goes all alone.Though Rahul is now hogging the limelight as the architect of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, so long his strategy has been to go all alone, with his emphasis of building up the party organisation for future challenges. Besides at a tactical level the Congress has always a faced tough choice between striking pre-poll alliances or waiting for the post-poll situation to emerge before taking a call.