Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has warned his party against walking into traps set by the BJP, and getting diverted into issues which are not relevant to the common man or the country.
At a press conference on Sunday, senior Congress leader Pawan Khera said that Mr. Gandhi had issued the warning at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting the previous day. Opposition parties, media, civil society and intellectuals run the risk of walking into these traps and shifting their focus away from issues relevant to people and the country, Mr. Khera said, adding that Mr. Gandhi had warned of precisely such a risk.
Mr. Khera is the media and publicity chairman of the All India Congress Committee. Referring to a campaign by a section of the media on how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had overtaken British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in popularity in a survey by a private agency, as well as a video posted on social media showing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah refusing to apply tilak on his forehead, Mr. Khera asked whether these were the kinds of traps that the party or the county should get into. “How is that relevant to unemployed or other sections that suffer,” he asked, adding that Mr. Gandhi had been referring to such traps.
“Mr. Gandhi was very clear that Congress was in politics to listen to the voice of Bharat Mata and the actual issues of the people. His comments gave the direction to which the party cadre has been looking for,” Mr. Khera said.
On lifting the cap on reservations for downtrodden sections, he said that Mr. Gandhi had made his position clear during a public meeting in Karnataka’s Kolar district in April. “He spoke on the need for a caste census and the share of the downtrodden sections in the nation’s wealth, and the party too had been discussing the issue and this will continue,” Mr. Khera said, when asked whether the Congress was under pressure from other parties to enhance reservations.
Terming All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi as a friend of the BJP and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Mr. Khera said that they were all concerned about the rising popularity of Congress in Telangana. “Mr. Owaisi, who has not done any rally in recent years suddenly takes out a rally and holds a meeting. Home Minister Amit Shah, who was supposed to be in Maharashtra on September 17, lands in Hyderabad. All these indicate how the three parties have come together to undermine the Congress meeting,” he claimed.
Mr. Khera categorically ruled out any deal with the BRS or AIMIM after the elections as support to form the government. “We don’t need or will not require their support as Congress will win Telangana comfortably,” he argued.