Who will Congress team up with to take on Modi in 2019? Rahul to decide

The Congress Working Committee today authorised Rahul Gandhi to take decisions on pre-poll or post-poll alliances for next year’s general elections.

The Congress is prepared for a “larger alliance” to defeat the National Democratic Alliance, a coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP, in 2019, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

The NDA government sailed through a trust vote on Friday, after a drama-filled day whose highlight was Rahul Gandhi’s surprise bear hug for the prime minister — and, of course, the quick little wink that followed it.

“The CWC, the party’s highest decision making body, authorised Gandhi to take appropriate decision[s] for pre and post-poll alliances as well as to form a small committee for the purpose, if needed,” Surjewala said.

Surjewala said that Gandhi will either involve himself or his senior colleagues in states where such alliances are needed. He said an elaborate discussion was held on alliances at the meeting.

“Will soon form a body [or] committee to look into it [alliances],” Gandhi told IndiaToday.in

At the CWC meeting Gandhi asked party leaders to get down to work to expand the vote bank, strengthen organisations and raise issues among people.

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“To save the democracy, strategic alliances need to be in place,” UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said. She also said personal ambitions would have to be kept aside. “We are committed to making alliances work and we are all with him (Rahul) in this endeavour,” she said.

The Congress, which once dominated Indian politics, remains in power in just three states — Mizoram, Punjab, and Karnataka, where it rules in a coalition headed by a Janata Dal (Secular) chief minister: HD Kumarswamy. The NDA and its allies, on the other hand, govern most of India’s territory — although the BJP recently pulled out of an alliance with the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, topping the state government.

The BJP is set to face electoral tests in assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan, all of which are ruled by the saffron party. Congress-ruled Mizoram will also hold assembly elections this year.

Inputs from IANS

WATCH | Modi’s NDA govt sails through trust vote with 325 votes

Updated: July 22, 2018 — 7:48 pm