Last Updated: January 29, 2024, 21:28 IST
Azad expressed his discontent and said that going solo won’t lead anywhere. (File photo: PTI)
“This (INDIA bloc) was the only alternative left for the Congress party to go in an alliance with different political parties but if we see it couldn’t even take off because of their wrong policies,” Azad told reporters
Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday criticized the Congress party’s decision to embark on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra alone, accusing them of neglecting potential allies.
Azad expressed his discontent and said that going solo won’t lead anywhere. “This (INDIA bloc) was the only alternative left for the Congress party to go in an alliance with different political parties but if we see it couldn’t even take off because of their wrong policies,” Azad told reporters here.
Highlighting the missed opportunity for a broader alliance, Azad remarked that “other political parties should have been taken on board to travel together across the country and that would have sent a message”.
Azad counselled the Congress to include other political parties in their journey. “If they travel solo, it would not lead anywhere. Today’s leader fell short in forging unity ahead of the alliance,” he underlined.
Reflecting on the current fate of the alliance, Azad said, “Saying unity and having unity on the ground are two different things. Some slots are to be kept vacant. The leadership has to be kept open.”
Azad, who ended his five-decade long association with the Congress on August 26, 2022, and launched the DPAP in Jammu a month later, recalled his successful strategy of forging alliances during his 45 years as the party general secretary. “Congress sought support of 26 parties but took out the (Bharat Jodo Nyay) yatra solely. Unity was broken on that day itself when a solo yatra began. It should have been a yatra of 26 parties,” he said.
Azad criticized the Congress’ approach and questioned their gains by going alone in various states. “Congress, except maybe in Bihar, has nothing to offer. They don’t have anything in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, North East and Odisha,” Azad said. “When this alliance was formed, I told people to wait to see its fate. You have seen this now,” he added.
Azad also questioned the effectiveness of the Congress leaders hitting the streets in Trinamool Congress (TMC)-ruled West Bengal. “What will they achieve? Earlier, with CPM and seven other parties, they got 0 seats. Now going alone, what will they get minus 0 seats?” he asked.
Azad also took a swipe at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Responding to a question on Kumar’s latest move, he alleged that the Bihar chief minister “behaves like an unrecognised party”. “He behaves like an unrecognised party. He is here one day here, another day there. One has kept track of him. But we must appreciate that he has been able to maintain a vote bank. That is why the people recognise him. So everyone wants him. He has acceptability,” Azad said. Responding to alliance partners of the INDIA bloc contemplating to contest the elections separately in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “It is their decision, but we are going to contest the elections alone.”