- RJD and JD(S) hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, over his remarks against regional parties.
- RJD spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha called Gandhi's claims 'bizarre'.
- JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said Congress is facing a phobia of regional parties.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seems to have landed himself in trouble, after his remark on regional parties during his address at his party's 'Chintan Shivir" (brainstorming camp) in Udaipur on Sunday. Gandhi was slammed by leaders of two regional parties, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Janata Dal (Secular).
While RJD spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha called Gandhi's claims 'bizarre', JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said Congress is facing a phobia of regional parties.
Jha asked Rahul Gandhi to look at recent electoral history of regional parties putting up a strong fight against the BJP as it took a swipe at him for his critical comments aimed at them, saying the Congress leader's claims were "bizarre" and not in sync with his own party's stand.
He said regional parties are strong in a majority of Lok Sabha seats in the fight against the BJP, and the Congress should settle to be "co-travellers" and let them be in the "driving seat" in over 320 of the 543 parliamentary constituencies. This is a point RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has also made, he noted.
Meanwhile, in an apparent sarcastic Kumaraswamy asked the former Congress president to elaborate to regional parties about ideological commitment, while saying that the national party has no presence in most parts of the country.
He said the Congress toppled the I K Gujral-led United Front government, demanding that DMK be kept out of the Cabinet by citing the links of the Dravidian party with the LTTE in the backdrop of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. But, the same Congress in the later years shared a cordial, political relationship with that party.
In his address at his party's 'Chintan Shivir Gandhi had claimed that regional parties cannot fight the BJP-RSS as they lack ideology. The Congress can fight it, he said.
The declaration said the Congress was committed to establishing a dialogue with all like-minded parties to protect the spirit of nationalism and democracy and would keep open avenues for forging alliances according to political circumstances.
Addressing Congress leaders, Gandhi had said, "BJP will talk about Congress, will talk about Congress leaders, will talk about Congress workers, but will not talk about regional parties, because they know, that regional parties have their place, but they cannot defeat BJP. Because they don't have an ideology.
(With PTI Inputs)