Veteran Communist leader S Sudhakar Reddy is disappointed the opposition unity against the BJP has not happened to the “desired levels” in the Lok Sabha elections and said the Congress should have been far more accommodating towards partners on seat-sharing. Expectations in the opposition camp were high a couple of months ago of a broad alliance against the Amit Shah-led party, and Reddy now regretted that such a scenario did not materialise for the general elections.
“Yes, a little disappointment to some extent,” the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) told PTI, referring to opposition’s failure to strike alliance in states such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal where the Congress is fighting separately.
“We expected most of these things (broad opposition unity) to be materialised but with different political parties taking a narrow outlook of electoral tactics, it did not happen,” he said.
So, it’s a little disadvantageous (to parties ranged against the BJP), according to him.
He, however, said the opposition is hopeful that the anti-BJP parties would get majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
“There is a possibility in the post-election period, all of them (who are fighting separately in the polls) will come together,” Reddy claimed.
He disagreed with a view that multi-cornered contests benefit the BJP, saying the people would vote for the strongest party which can defeat the Amit Shah-led outfit.
On what went wrong in West Bengal, where the Congress and the Left Front failed to forge an alliance, Reddy said: “Our people (Left Front) are saying that they (the Congress) demanded more seats than they deserve”.
He said the Left Front offered the Congress four seats seats, where it had won in 2014, and also those where it had come in the second place.
“Even one or two of our (Left Front) seats we were ready to concede but they wanted seats where they got three per cent...four per cent vote also,” Reddy said.
Instead of looking at the national scene, the Congress gave too much freedom to state units, he said, adding that the Rahul Gandhi-led party should have been “more accommodating, more large-hearted” towards its partners in different states.
He appealed to the RJD-led opposition alliance in Bihar, ‘mahgathbandhan’, to withdraw their candidate in Begusarai constituency and support CPI nominee Kanhaiya Kumar.
The CPI on Sunday announced the name of former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar as its candidate from the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat, where he would take on Union minister Giriraj Singh in a triangular contest with the RJD.