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Congress not 'Big Daddy', respects regional parties: Rahul Gandhi

By Pti
Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, May 21: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has backtracked on his stand on regional parties, by saying that his party would not like to be "the Big Daddy" and claimed that the fight against the BJP will be a "group effort".

Congress not Big Daddy, respects regional parties: Rahul Gandhi

At an interactive session at the 'Ideas for India' conference in London, the former Congress chief asserted his party will coordinate with regional parties to take to launch a nationwide movement against the ruling BJP and will reach out to the people in a big way. "We have to coordinate with our friends in the opposition. I don't view Congress as the 'Big Daddy'. It is a group effort with the opposition. But it is a fight to regain India," he said at the conclave.

A video of the event was released by Congress on Saturday. "The point I made in Udaipur, which was misconstrued, is that this is an ideological battle now. It is a national ideological battle, which means that of course we respect the DMK as a Tamil political organisation, but the Congress is the party that has the ideology at the national level," Gandhi said. So, the Congress will have to think about itself as a structure that is enabling the opposition, he said during the hour-long interaction. "In no way is the Congress superior to the other opposition parties, we are all fighting the same battle. They have their space, we have ours, but an ideological battle is taking place is between the national vision of the RSS and that of the Congress," Gandhi added.

Gandhi's remarks on regional parties, which came in the presence of opposition leaders like Sitaram Yechury and Tejashvi Yadav, are in contrast to his comments at the Congress' three-day 'Chintan Shivir' in Udaipur. There he had said that it is only Congress that can fight the BJP at the national level and regional outfits cannot fight this battle as they do not have an ideology. Addressing Congress leaders on May 15, Gandhi had said, "The BJP will talk about the Congress, its leaders and workers, but will not talk about regional parties. Because they know that regional parties have their place but they cannot defeat the BJP. Because they don't have an ideology."

"This fight of ideology is not easy. Regional parties cannot fight this battle, as this is a fight of ideology," Gandhi also said, asserting that it is only Congress that can fight this battle of ideologies. His remarks drew sharp reactions from leaders of several opposition parties who hit back at Gandhi and attacked the Congress for not having a presence in many parts of the country.

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