Cong, TMC trade barbs over Opposition unity, Goa polls
The Congress and the TMC engaged in a war of words Tuesday with the Mamata Banerjee’s party saying it cannot wait indefinitely for the Congress to bring Opposition parties together against the BJP, while the grand old party hit back asserting elections are not tourism that a party contests and disappears.
''Elections are not tourism that you fight one election and then you go away after the election and then re-appear after five years. While I respect, recognise their right to fight elections independently, they need to understand what are they fighting, who are they fighting and what are they fighting for,'' Surjewala asked.
The remarks came after TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said that in order to forge an alliance with all Opposition parties a proposal was given by TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee who also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders. ''We waited for six long months, but there was no response or initiative from any quarters. So we have moved on and we have decided to expand our base. Perhaps the Congress is too busy with its internal issues,'' said Ray. It will depend on the Congress and other parties if they want to come under one umbrella or go alone, he said Surjewala said if any single political party has fought the BJP and the Modi government's policy for the past seven years single-handedly, ''without bowing down, without getting cowed down, without retracting even a step, at the cost of many personal sacrifices, despite being persecuted recklessly and unjustifiably by the ruling dispensation, it is the Indian National Congress''.
He said many Opposition leaders ''retract'' and some of them ''compromise'' when they get notices and summonses by the Enforcement Directorate or the CBI unjustifiably. ''I don't blame them. Everybody does not necessarily have the courage to stand for the truth. We empathise with those smaller opposition parties, we will support those smaller opposition parties, even when they oppose us, because it is our duty to stand with everybody, who is being wrongly persecuted. Every party has a right to fight elections,'' the Congress leader said.
Surjewala asserted the Congress party is fighting for Goa transparency, accountability and for the people of Goa and their rights.
''What are the other political parties fighting for? The BJP is fighting for the kind of corruption that we have seen, but, other political parties also need to introspect and I am saying so with great respect to their rights to democratically fight elections. Are they strengthening the cause of BJP or are they really in contest for their own place in the polity of Goa? That’s a question; I leave it to them to decide,'' he said.
He added he respects and recognises TMC's right to fight elections independently as that is the ''beauty of our democratic polity''.
Surjewala said the Congress party will unitedly and decisively fight against the ''corrupt architecture” created by BJP in Goa. ''We are determined to fight, other parties need to introspect.” The TMC is contesting the Goa assembly polls after former Goa chief minister and Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro switched over to the Mamata Banerjee outfit recently.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)