Apparently stunned by Mayawati's announcement today that her party won't forge any alliance with it in the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan assembly polls, the Congress hoped that the BSP chief reposing her faith in Rahul and Sonia Gandhi will provide it a window of opportunity and "creases will be ironed out" with harmony.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party's goal of defeating the BJP is clear and if any party walks along with it in achieving it is welcome, otherwise there can be a "healthy contest" in this fight against the BJP and there is nothing wrong in it as happened in the past.
"Mayawati has expressed her sentiments and we respect that. She has reposed full faith in Rahul ji and Sonia ji and we respect that too. If there is harmony among Sonia Gandhi, who is our guide, and Rahul Gandhi, who is our leader, and Mayawati ji, then no fourth person can create a rift among them," he said.
"If there are any creases left, they will be ironed out mutually among them with harmony," he told reporters.
Mr Surjewala also said that once the leaders have amicable, respectable, fruitful relationship with each other, "all other creases can be ironed out".
Earlier, Mayawati announced that her party will contest assembly elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh either on its own or in alliance with regional parties but not with the Congress.
To a question on whether the Congress still has hope left in an alliance with the BSP, he said the BSP leader has expressed mutual respect and confidence towards the Congress president as also Sonia Gandhi.
"I think that is the most important rather than reading multiple meanings in the statement of Mayawati ji," he said.
On the charges levelled by Mayawati against certain Congress leaders, he said decisions on alliances and discussions on them between parties are not talked about in press conferences.
"I don't think so alliances are discussed or announced in press conferences. I think her statement says a lot and that is what you should think," Mr Surjewala said.
Mr Surjewala said, "Be it with one party or another, be it in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan or Telangana, the state units and leadership will decide with whom they wish to ally or not to strengthen the opposition and they will deliberate with the alliances committee set up for the purpose."
The state units will discuss with the alliance committee and then take a decision, on whether an alliance is to be forged to defeat the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and with TRS in Telangana, he said.
Alliances will depend on state to state and the Congress will align with such parties that can strengthen the ideology and in the interest of the state's development, he said, adding that wherever it is felt that there is no scope for alliance and where the thoughts do not merge, "there will be a healthy contest there in this fight against the BJP. There is nothing wrong in this, as this has happened in the past too."
"The Congress's goal is one, other parties may have many goals, but the Congress goal in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is to free the people of the states from the tyranny of BJP rule and convert the destruction caused by BJP governments there into the stream of development.
"In this yajna, those who will support the Congress will move together with us and they are welcome according to the political situation. Those who are unable to walk along are free to choose their own path. But, that does not mean, the Congress's pledge and fight against the BJP and in removing it has weakened. It can be a thought of a particular person, but not us," Mr Surjewala said.
He said the party does not agree with any criticism of its leaders by such a person. "Sometimes, some statements are given by leaders in an emotional flow, but the target of the eye is not lost," he said.
Mayawati has accused the Congress of trying to "finish" the BSP, saying the grand old party is more interested in ending and destroying her party than dislodging the BJP.
"In Karnataka we tied up with regional party. In Chhattisgarh too, we did the same. Now we have decided to go alone in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. We may go with regional parties there but certainly not with the Congress," she read out a statement.
Mayawati had earlier announced that the BSP will tie up with Ajit Jogi's party for the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls.
After charges by Mayawati against him, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that he has been a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, BJP and the RSS and he will follow Rahul Gandhi's directions.
He said he has already made it clear that he respects Mayawati and has been in favour of a Congress-BSP alliance from the very beginning and talks between the two parties have already been held but she has declared candidates for 22 seats.
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