INDIA alliance strong despite Nitish’s exit : Ramesh

KORBA, Feb 12: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday said the opposition INDIA bloc is strong and all constituents will soon finalise seat sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing a press conference in Barpali village in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district, he said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) as well as the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) quitting the Congress-led bloc will not have any impact.
“INDIA alliance is strong. Nitish ji has done volte-face and RLD is trying to do the same. There were 28 parties in the alliance and two have left. However, discussion is underway with AAP, DMK, NCP, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and Mamta Banerjee ji over seat sharing (for Lok Sabha polls),” he said.
“We are strong and soon seat sharing in different states will be given a final touch,” he added. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ramesh said the former spoke about ‘one nation, one tax’ and ‘one nation, one election’ but in reality it has become about “one nation, one company” in the last 10 years (of NDA rule).
The Congress and Rahul Gandhi are raising their voice against this capitalism through the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, he said, adding that inflating was rising while the unemployment rate was the highest in the last 45 years.
“In Bastar (during Assembly poll campaigning), the PM said NMDC’s steel plant will not be privatised but he has been engaged in selling for the last three years.
Former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had exposed it. In this way, all economic policies are being adopted to benefit one friend, one company,” he alleged.
“Jungles are being cut and coal mines are being given. If Modi ji retains power at the Centre, the NTPC’s power plant will also be sold. Even Bhilai, Bokaro, Durgapur and Rourkela are in danger as the PM and his special friend don’t want to leave any PSU,” he said.
Ramesh went on to joke about LK Advani getting the Bharat Ratna by saying the “typist committed a mistake” and typed the BJP stalwart’s name instead of “Adani”.
When asked about Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha polls, he said, “You may recall the film ‘Bees Saal Baad’ starring Biswajit and Waheeda Rehman.
In 2003, we lost Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh but the Congress-led UPA formed Government at the Centre in 2004. (PTI)
What happened in 2004 will be replicated in 2024,” he asserted. In 2004, it (BJP’s poll campaign) was about ‘India Shining” and in 2024 it is about ‘India vishwaguru’, Ramesh said.
“You will see surprising results (in the Lok Sabha polls),” he claimed. Asked if Rahul Gandhi will be the face of the opposition alliance, he showed the palm (the Congress’ symbol) and said it would be the face.
“In our country elections are not fought between two persons. Sorry to say but it’s not a beauty contest. It is contested between parties based on ideologies, manifesto and election campaigns.
The question is not who will be PM or CM, the question is which political party is going to form the Government,” he said. The system followed in India is not the American system (presidential) but Parliamentary democracy and it should continue to remain so, Ramesh added. (PTI)