Top Congress leader Salman Khurshid in an interview claimed that it will be difficult for the Congress party to win on its own in the 2019 general elections. Khurshid stated that Congress needs allies to win and will have to make compromises for the same.
Salman Khurshid has said that any grand alliance must not be aimed at "containing Congress" and that all its constituents must make sacrifices and adjustments with the sole objective of defeating the BJP-led NDA.
Meawhile, after receiving flak for his statement from some Congress leaders and supporters, Salman Khursid issued a tweet and said, "Am deeply pained at reactions of some supposed Congress supporters to my statement on Grand alliance as need of hour. Can’t they read entire interview? Arrogance and ignorance make a toxic mix. Truth is an ally not enemy. Wake up friends."
Khurshid also feels it will be difficult for the Congress to come to power on its own.
"All our leaders have made it very clear that an alliance (is needed) to change the country's government. The BJP must go. Whatever it takes to sacrifice, adjust and negotiate to make the alliance a reality, Congress is willing to do, Khurshid told PTI here in an interview.
"But it is only fair that it should be the same attitude of other (opposition) parties. The alliance must not be for containing Congress, the alliance must be for removing BJP and we are willing for anything," he said.
When asked whether it is possible for the Congress to come to power on its own, the former external affairs minister said, "It is obviously difficult today".
"If that is the objective (majority on its own) then we will have to work over a period of five years. Because you cannot work towards an alliance for three years and then suddenly say we will fight to win (on our own). You have to fight for five years. Today we are committed to the alliance and we will do our very best to ensure that the alliance succeeds," he said.
Congress is the only party that gets seats from all over the country and all other (opposition) parties get seats from their respective states, he added.
"Now the elasticity in numbers is much greater when you are talking of seats from all over the country and when you are talking of seats only from your state. This is the practical reality with which all the leaders have to deal with an open mind," Khurshid, who also served as minister for law and justice in the UPA II, said.
Khurshid's comments on the possibility of a grand opposition alliance come against the backdrop of the opposition's efforts to stitch a united front against the BJP before the 2019 elections and BSP chief Mayawati's decision to go it alone in the upcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh without any truck with the Congress. Assembly elections are also being held in Mizoram.
(With PTI Inputs)