Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir: Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Chief Ghulam Nabi Azad has hit out at Congress over its decision to embark on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra alone and said that other political parties should have been taken on board to travel together across the country.
Addressing the reporters here, the ex-Congress veteran said that going solo won’t lead anywhere.
“Congress says 26 parties should give us support, but they are taking out the yatra alone. Other political parties should have been taken on board to travel together across the country, and that would have sent a message. If they (Congress) travel solo, it would not lead anywhere,” he said.
He also hit out at the INDIA bloc after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar snapped his ties with the opposition alliance and said, “Saying unity and having unity on the ground are two different things. Some slots are to be kept vacant. The leadership has to be kept open.”
Recalling his successful strategy of forging alliances during his 45 years as the party general secretary, Aazad said, “Congress sought the support of 26 parties but took out the (Bharat Jodo Nyay) yatra solely. Unity was broken on that day itself when a solo yatra began. It should have been a yatra of 26 parties. This formula was done by me in Kerala and Karnataka…45 leaders in Karnataka, a bus was hired, 45 people were on stage… In Andhra, I also did this… All were given a chance,” he said.
“Congress, except maybe in Bihar, has nothing to offer. They don’t have anything in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, the North East, and Odisha,” Azad added.
He also called the formation of the INDIA bloc a ‘marriage of compulsion’ and said that Congress could not muster the support to make the leader of the opposition
“Of course, the alliance is always a marriage of compulsion. Opportunity and compulsion are different. In some places, it is an opportunity, but in this case, it was a compulsion. Congress tried twice, but it could not muster the support to make the opposition leader… This was the only alternate for Congress to go for the alliance…But it has not taken off due to the wrong policies…” he added.
On Sunday, Nitish Kumar took the oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for the ninth time in Raj Bhawan, Patna, switching sides again, this time with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
It was for the second time in two years that Nitish Kumar had jumped the ship, his fifth crossover in a little over a decade, preceding his ninth time as chief minister.
Two Deputy CMs from the BJP, Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha, and six other ministers, including Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Santosh Kumar Suman, Shrawan Kumar, and others, also took the oath today.
JDU leader Nitish Kumar’s move to end his alliance with the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal to revive his tie-up with the BJP comes as a massive setback to the INDIA bloc months before it takes on the formidable BJP in Lok Sabha polls.
Azad, however, took a swipe at Kumar over his latest move, alleging that the Bihar chief minister “behaves like an unrecognised party”.
“He behaves like an unrecognised party. He is here one day here, another day there. One has kept track of him. But we must appreciate that he has been able to maintain a vote bank. That is why the people recognise him. So everyone wants him. He has acceptability,” Azad said.