The Congress Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Trinamool Congress, CPM in Kerala and the Aam Aadmi Party, holding Mamata Banerjee “singularly responsible” for the rise of the BJP in West Bengal and alleging that the CPM and BJP were two sides of the same coin in Kerala.
The party said it was ready to work towards Opposition unity if there is a need for it, but argued it cannot have such a deal with parties intent or hell bent upon weakening the Congress, in its words.
The Congress’s strident criticism of the CPM comes after the Left party slammed its Bharat Jodo Yatra, questioning the days Rahul Gandhi will spend during his march in the Left-ruled Kerala compared to those in the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Asserting that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is not a yatra for Opposition unity, AICC general secretary in-charge of communication Jairam Ramesh said: “Bharat Jodo Yatra is a yatra to strengthen the Congress party. Without a strong Congress, you cannot have Opposition unity. Secondly, no political party which wants to ally with the Congress should think that an alliance means I take everything from the Congress and don’t give anything to the Congress. So far, everybody has been trying to weaken the Congress.”
Jairam added: “We will not allow this to happen. We will strengthen the Congress party, and if there is need for Opposition unity, we will certainly work towards Opposition unity. But we cannot have Opposition unity with parties who are intent or hell bent on weakening the Congress.”
Earlier, Rahul too had said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was meant to bring together the people of the country, and while Opposition unity would help, that was not the primary purpose of it.
Addressing questions on the CPM’s criticism at a media interaction in Kerala’s Kollam, Jairam reiterated his claim that the CPM in Kerala was the ‘A team of the BJP’. “At the national level, the CPM has a different view. But in Kerala, the CPM is doing its best to encourage the BJP because only by encouraging the BJP will the CPM succeed in weakening the Congress in Kerala,” he said.
“Nationally they may have one view of the Congress… but in the context of Kerala the CPM and the BJP are two sides of the same coin,” he added. “Nationally, if the CPM wants to support the Congress, they are welcome. Remember in 1989, the CPM and BJP had combined to support the V P Singh government. The Congress is the only political party in India which has never had an alliance with the BJP. It cannot have an alliance with the BJP. But every other political party has compromised, including the Left. The Left supported V P Singh along with the BJP to defeat the Congress.”
He also argued that Rahul is the only political leader in India who has consistently targeted the BJP. “Even Mamata Banerjee, one day in the morning will praise the RSS, and in the afternoon, she will do something else. Mr Kejriwal, we know, is the ‘B’ team of the BJP. So there is no other political party, there is no other political leader… that is why the ED is set on him (Rahul). He was subjected to 55 hours of questioning on a completely bogus case because he is targeting the Prime Minister and Home Minister. He is raising questions like why all airports, ports are being sold to one man,” the Congress leader said.
He elaborated: “Mamata Banerjee is singularly responsible for the rise of the BJP in West Bengal. The Left is singularly responsible for the encouragement of the BJP in Kerala because they know the Congress will get weak if the BJP gets strong. They know this… It suits the Left to fight the BJP instead of fighting the Congress. Why? Because the Left is one extreme and the BJP is another extreme. The centre is only the Congress. So the Left will always prefer to fight with the right because it is easier. But when you are occupying a centre spot, you are in an advantageous position.”
Jairam added: “They (the CPM) may come with the Congress in other states. For example, the Left was with us in Manipur. In Tamil Nadu, the ruling party coalition is the DMK, CPM, CPI, the Congress, VCK and some smaller Tamil parties.”
He also lashed out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “In terms of ideology, they may say whatever they have to say, but in terms of management style, there is absolutely no difference between the CM of Kerala and the Prime Minister. They are identical…identical style. The CM of Kerala is mundu Modi. There is no difference between the two. They don’t listen, they have made up their minds.”