NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal a “mahagathbandhan” of opposition parties at the national level may not be possible before the Lok Sabha election next year and called for strategic alliance in states to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The former union minister also asserted that the issue of who will be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the opposition could be sorted out by the parties at the right time. The BJP's alliance partners have fallen out, he said and does not see the ruling party securing enough numbers even to think of forming the government.
In separate interviews to PTI and IANS, Sibal said all parties getting together will be the “best situation”, but the Congress with very few seats in Lok Sabha currently cannot dictate terms and thus has to form alliances in states to ensure a non-BJP government at the Centre.
“I perceive that the BJP will not be able to form a government. What the nature and architecture of the alternative government will be decided after the election results come about. The Congress needs to form strategic alliances in those states so that in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha elections, the alliance partners stand with it to ensure a non-BJP government is formed at the Centre,” he said.
The Congress leader noted that if the Congress and the RLD become part of the alliance comprising the SP and BSP, “it will be a formidable force”. The former union minister said it is clear that the BJP will lose half the seats in states where it has significant presence currently.
“The party has nothing left in the South other than Karnataka. There is no way that they can muster enough support to form a government,” he said.
"People of India are connecting with us because the people have realised that this sort of tsunami of jumlas (rhetoric) has not taken India anywhere. The dreams that were promised have come crashing down. The communications revolution is a great benefactor in many senses,” he added.
“The communications revolution has ensured that whatever one said in the past can be repeated to him and also haunt him. This was not so before the communications revolution. Public memory is refreshed by repeating one has said or promised," Sibal said.
Sibal’s book 'Shades of Truth -- A Journey Derailed' published by Rupa Publications releasing on Friday analyses the four years of NDA rule under Modi, the weaknesses that undid the UPA regime, the 2G and coal "scams" among other things.
Asked about his view which he has written in the book that Congress would have a dilemma in West Bengal on whether to tie with the Left or the ruling Trinamool Congress, he said, "That we will see. I don't decide these issues. I have said what I said in the book."
Asked if he was confident about an opposition alliance against BJP, he said "100 per cent".
Asked about the problems that could emerge in the opposition alliance over the Prime Minister's post, the Congress leader shot back, "that (prime minister) will emerge". He said the situation will throw up a candidate. "Always. It always does. It happened in 2004 also."
Asked whether the Prime Minister candidate will be from Congress, he said, "I don't know. We will see whatever emerges at that point of time. That is something people will decide."
When told about the reservations among some opposition leaders over Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Sibal said, "Anybody may have reservations. The point in time is if and when that situation arises somebody will emerge and I think the people will decide who that somebody is going to be."
Sibal’s book seeks to “demystify the Modi magic and assess the delivery on the ground based on the promises made by his government”. It also places before the people the data and facts to establish that the prime minister is undoubtedly a great salesman and has failed to fulfil the promises made to people, Sibal said.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Sibal’s book is “a powerful indictment of the Modi government’s performance. There has to be a meaningful national debate on issues raised by Kapil Sibal”. According to former Vice president Hamid Ansari, “In our sharply divided political discourse, ‘Shades of Truth’ is graphic in its compilation of facts and bold in its exposure of the perceived designs of an adversary.”
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