Only a strong and united Congress can challenge BJP dominance, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday, following controversy over his recent tweet about the party's alliance policy in West Bengal. Sharma, who is the deputy leader of the Congress party in the Rajya Sabha, had said that the party's alliance with ISF and other such forces in West Bengal militates against the core ideology of the party.
Soon after Sharma's tweet, a war of words broke out between him and Congress' PCC chief for the state of West Bengal, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, on Twitter. Chaudhary had said: "Those who are committed to fight against BJP parties venomous communalism should support the Congress and campaign for the party in five states rather than attempting to undermine the party by remarks in tune with BJP’s agenda".
Speaking to India TV, Sharma on Thursday clarified that his only objective was to revive and re-energize the Congress party. "Only a strong and united Congress can challenge the BJP dominance and restore the much-needed balance in the national political narrative which is essential and must in any democracy," he said.
On speculation about G-23 splitting from Congress, Sharma said: "We are lifelong Congressmen and founders and builders of the party. We have dedicated our lives and shall continue to make all possible efforts to strengthen and energize the party."
Responding to allegations of him hobnobbing with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sharma said this was "ultimate insult". "I cannot dignify gutter trash and garbage with any sort of response, for whom this is natural habitat can thrive in it," he added.
Anand Sharma was also a part of the group of leaders that addressed a public gathering in Jammu and criticized the Congress party along with six other leaders of G-23, at an event that was organized to felicitate senior Congress leader and Party's former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, after he retired from the Rajya Sabha.