As the Congress pushes to establish itself as a principal opponent of the Narendra Modi-led BJP under a rebranded Rahul Gandhi ahewad of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, a prediction by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram comes as a downer. Speaking at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the first chaired by Rahul Gandhi, Chidambaram said that Congress can win three times more seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Chidambaram said that this could be possible if the party further boosts its presence in 12 states where it already has a strong foothold. The Congress currently has 48 members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, and as per this prediction of sorts, the count will sum up to 144 seats, which is around half of what ther Congress will need to form the government in the 543-strong house following next year’s election.
While Chidambaram emphasised on the need to strengthen the party’s presence in the 12 states, other party seniors pitched for aligning with regional parties to further improve the party’s position. Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi too pitched for aligning with regional parties to further improve the party’s position.
This was the first occasion when Gandhi chaired the CWC meet since he became the president of the party. There was a rejig in the CWC recently in which Digvijaya Singh, Shashi Tharoor and Kamal Nath amongst many were dropped. In highlights of his address, Gandhi reminded the party supporters “the role of Congress as the voice of India” and the “responsibility of the party as BJP attacks institutions, Dalits, tribals, minorities and the poor.”
The Congress boss also described the CWC as an “institution comprising experience and energy, as a bridge between the past, present and the future.”
He also warned his partymen against misspeaking in the public. The Congress leader said he is “fighting a big fight and won’t hesitate in taking an action if a need arises.”
“I am fighting bigger fights… everyone has the right to speak in party forum but if a party leader gives a wrong statement and weakens this fight, I will not hesitate to take an action,” he said.
After the meeting, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also said that Rahul Gandhi is the natural leader of the alliance.