Cong depends on tieups in south, west

The Congress is clear in its mind about the longevity of coalition experiments. While the party is virtually going it alone in the Hindi heartland, it is depending on alliances in the south, west and even the east. While the party has been leading the UDF in Kerala, it has depending on a Dravadian party in Tamil Nadu for a tactical alliance. It

came to power in Andhra Pradesh in 2004 through an alliance with the TRS and was even compelled to form a government with the JD(S) in Karnataka. However, it did not last long. In Maharashtra, it has been sharing power with NCP since 1999 and it had retain power in Assam last time through an alliance with a local party. The mood in the party is to end over three decades rule of the Left Front in West Bengal under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee and share power.
But in UP, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, the Congress is going alone.
The party’s line on alliances was clearly spelt out by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at the Hyderabad party plenary held in January 21-23, 2006. “Being in a coalition is a new experience for us. But we have adopted well and have steadfastly followed the discipline and decorum of a coalition. True, in some states we are opposing the very same parties that are supporting us at the Centre. We see no contradiction in this. National challenges demand that we cooperate. But state-level issues and concerns are very different. Let our colleagues from Kerala and West Bengal have no doubts — in these states, we are opponents and we will fight as opponents. We are running coalition governments in some states as well. I know that our party workers feel that these coalitions diminish opportunities for them.”
“But coalition does not mean abdication of party-building. There is no doubt in my mind that though we run coalition governments, we must at the same time strengthen our party at all levels,” she said.
But the political resolution adopted by the Congress plenary session held in Bengaluru on March 17-18, 2001 said at Panchmarhi, the Congress pledged to work towards the restoration of the party to primacy in national affairs but reconginsed that “there might be circumstances in which coalitions might be formed on the basis of agreed rogrammes which will not weaken the party or compromise its basic ideology.”
As there has been some `misinterpretation’ of this position, the Congress wishes to clarify that “taking into account the present political scenario, it would be prepared to enter into `appropriate electoral or coalition arrangements with secular parties’ on the basis of mutul understanding buyt always without compromising its basic ideology.”

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