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'Doors open' for alliance in MP, seat sharing won't be 'speed breaker': Scindia

Monday, June 11, 2018
By Asim Kamal

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has said his party's "doors are open" for an alliance in Madhya Pradesh and seat sharing will not be a "speed breaker" for like-minded parties to come together, remarks that come amid talk of a Congress-BSP tie-up for assembly polls in the state.

Scindia, who is the Madhya Pradesh Congress's campaign committee incharge for the assembly polls slated for later this year, also asserted that after a long time in the state all party leaders were working “unitedly and cohesively” to take on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. In an interview to PTI, the MP from Guna said all like-minded parties must work together.

However, he said, the like-mindedness has to be based on a fundamental precept of values and vision which was for a liberal, secular and a progressive India that ensures that every citizen joins the mainstream to take the country to its rightful place in the comity of nations.

"And I think if that is our fundamental understanding of each other, and our values and our philosophies, then I think something like ticket sharing is not going to be a speed breaker in like-minded parties coming together," said Scindia, who was among the few prominent leaders from the Congress to win in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Asked about Congress's possible alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party in Madhya Pradesh, he said his party's "doors are open" and it was ready for having "conversations" with other parties, but asserted that there should be a clear understanding of what the ultimate goal is. "And if it (the goal) is to establish a government that serves the people, unlike what the NDA has done, then certainly in states where any of those partners are strong, that rightful place of strength has to be given to that partner, but at the same time, the larger, the more stronger partner, has to ensure that an equal amount of respect and dignity is also given in terms of taking the whole coalition along," he said.

Scindia said this principle of alliance would apply to all states irrespective of which party is in the position of strength. He said the Congress' main battle cry for the assembly election in Madhya Pradesh would be “It's time for change, and the time is now”.

He said a win in the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram  would ceratinly change the dynamics for the Congress party in 2019 and provide a "huge momentum" to it ahead of the general elections. "Alternatively, if we don't do that well, it certainly will be a dampener going into 2019. So for us, it is imperative that we form governments in all four of these states," the 47-year-old leader said.

Asked about Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan dubbing the Congress a divided house, Scindia asserted that there was no disunity in the party ranks. The Congress in April had appointed senior leader Kamal Nath as president of its Madhya Pradesh unit and Scindia as the campaign committee chief ahead of elections in the state.

"After a long time in Madhya Pradesh all party leaders are working unitedly and cohesively to ensure that this battle, which is not a battle for the Congress, it's not a battle for the BJP, but it is really a battle for the future of Madhya Pradesh, (is won).

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