"Not Knee-Jerk Anti-Congressism": Yogendra Yadav Defends His Remarks

Yogendra Yadav reiterated that the Congress party "is now redundant for (is actually an obstacle to) defending the idea of India".

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'Not Knee-Jerk Anti-Congressism': Yogendra Yadav Defends His Remarks

Lok Sabha Election Results: Yogendra Yadav defended his remarks, saying the party "must die".


New Delhi: 

After stirring a debate with his provocative remarks on the future of the Congress party, Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav on Monday doubled down on his assertion that the grand old party is "an obstacle to the idea of India".

Defending his earlier statement on Twitter, the psephologist-turned-politician said, "Just to avoid misreading: this is not an off the cuff angry remark, no khundak (offence) against its leaders, not knee-jerk anti-Congressism."

He, however, reiterated that the Congress party "is now redundant for (is actually an obstacle to) defending the idea of India".

Most exit polls on Sunday predicted the NDA to win a second term comfortably. The BJP-led NDA is predicted to win 302 of 543 seats and the Congress and its allies 122, according to the poll of polls, an aggregate of exit polls by national and regional channels.

Politicians across the spectrum responded to the predictions. While most opposition parties dismissed it, some calling it "gossip", Mr Yadav targeted the Congress, saying the party "must die".

"The Congress must die. If it could not stop the BJP in this election to save the idea of India, this party has no positive role in Indian history. Today it represents the single biggest obstacle to creation of an alternative," Mr Yadav tweeted, expanding on remarks he made on the exit polls in a show by India Today on Sunday.

He later clarified that part about the Congress's role in India's history. "I cannot possibly deny the great role of Congress before and immediately after independence. What I meant was 'no positive role left to perform in history anymore'. Stand by that," he said in another tweet.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera hit back at Mr Yadav. "First you join hands with fake liberals, then you wish death to the only national political voice of liberal India. Like many other ambassadors of liberal India, you too have blood on your hands, except that Congress lives and shall live despite that," Mr Khera said.

Earlier this year, his party had announced that it will not contest the national election, adding that the "party will continue to focus on bringing real public issues in election discourse". Swaraj India, in a statement, also said that it would support "candidates who represent hope for alternative politics".

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