New Delhi: A day after Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati slammed Congress, the party’s key strategist Sam Pitroda has indicated that the ‘gathbandhan’ or alliance of opposition parties will come together at the “right time”.
Pitroda, in an interview to ANI, asserted that the common objective of the parties is to oust the Narendra Modi government, even if that amounts to a compromise on the number of seats. On being asked how the gathbandhan will resolve contradictions within itself, Pitroda said, “I don’t think there is anything to worry about, they (gathbandhan) will all come together at the right time. I can assure you, they are all clear on the common goal. They all want democracy, inclusion, and peace. Only through peace, they will have prosperity. Only if we have peace in the country we can create jobs.”
“We cannot create jobs by dividing people and everybody knows that. I have confidence in the leadership of the members of the gathbandhan. No matter what position they take today, when the right time comes, I am confident that they will make the right decision,” he asserted. Last week, Prime Minister Modi, while addressing a rally in Mumbai, had claimed that the Congress was creating a new record of fighting on the least number of seats ever in the ongoing elections.
Downplaying this claim, Pitroda said, “Congress is winning,” adding that there is no question of giving up the fight. “Take, for example, our allies in Tamil Nadu. If they take up 30 seats, we are 30 seats less, it is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. If allies in Maharashtra take up 15-20 seats, we are 15-20 seats less. So it’s the right combination of our allies and us that we have to look at,” he explained.
Acknowledging Congress’ new “compromising” avatar, Pitroda said,” It’s alright because now, the goal is to get Modi government out.” “It’s perfectly alright,” he added. The Congress has recently drawn flak from SP and BSP in the wake of party chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s comments on wanting to ‘help’ the gathbandhan (SP-BSP-RLD) in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier in the week, Priyanka had claimed that Congress fielded some Lok Sabha candidates in Uttar Pradesh with the aim to cut into the vote share of BJP.
Echoing similar sentiments, Priyanka’s brother Rahul had mentioned that Congress would help the gathbandhan wherever it doesn’t have a strong candidate, with a primary aim of defeating the BJP in the ongoing polls. However, the statements didn’t seem to go down too well with Akhilesh or Mayawati. “I cannot believe in these types of statements. I do not believe that the Congress has fielded weak candidates anywhere. No party does it. People are not with them. That is why they are making excuses,” Akhilesh had said in an exclusive interview to ANI. Meanwhile, Mayawati had said that a vote cast in favour of Congress would amount to “waste.” Seven-phase elections, which began on April 11, will end on May 19. Results will be declared on May 23.