New Delhi, July 9: The Congress' pursuit to stitch a larger anti-BJP alliance for 2019 is already facing challenges from quarters within. The party was confronted with massive rumblings within its West Bengal unit where the state leadership is bitterly divided over alliance options.
While one section of the West Bengal Congress led by party chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is advocating a pact with the Left front in the state, another camp led by Congress secretary and local MLA Mainul Haque has batted for an alliance with the ruling TMC.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had to meet all state leaders individually this week to dissipate the crisis amid possibilities of Haque and some of his supporters switching over to the TMC, should Gandhi decide to go with the Left.
"We will not quit the Congress and will await the decision of Congress president Rahul Gandhi before taking any decision," Haque said.
He felt no vote transfer to the Congress happened in the last Assembly poll after the party aligned with CPI-M. "It will be suicidal to go with the CPI(M) again as it has no standing in the state anymore today," he said.
In the Delhi unit of the Congress too, the state party leadership has categorically ruled out any alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP even though Gandhi is yet to make his mind known.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken has accused the AAP of being "hand in glove" with the BJP and having allied with the RSS through the 2011 Anna movement to unseat the then UPA. Similar is the situation in party-ruled Punjab, where the state leadership is totally against any truck with the AAP.
In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, although the Congress is trying to forge ties with the BSP to prevent the division of anti-BJP vote, early reports do not signal much of a success. Even for Madhya Pradesh, not all Congress leaders are endorsing an alliance with the BSP.
Former CWC member Anil Shastri has said that any pact with the BSP would prove "suicidal" for the party in MP. Shastri questions the rationale behind the alliance citing the meagre BSP presence in the state Assembly. The lobby advocating the pact in MP, however, says the Mayawati-led outfit has enough of a vote share to swing the poll.