Claiming cracks in the “I.N.D.I Alliance”, BJP leader N Ramchander Rao October 18, said the partners in the Opposition bloc are already at odds with the Congress with regard to seat sharing for next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to media in Hyderabad on October 18, Rao said, “The bickering in the INDI-alliance (over seat sharing) has already started. (Samajwadi Party chief) Akhilesh Yadav has already questioned the Congress if this alliance would only be limited to states or be expanded to the national level as well.”
“The I.N.D.I Alliance is not being able to articulate its stand and present a united front to the people due to a lack of clarity over seat sharing for the upcoming Assembly elections in five states,” Rao added.
Further hitting out at the Congress for making “tall claims” to voters in Telangana, especially with regard to a caste census, ahead of the November 30 Assembly polls, the BJP leader said, “They ruled the country for more than 55 years and are still in power in some states. What did they do for the OBCs in all the years that they were in power at the Centre?”
While supporting the women’s quota Bill, which the Centre recently introduced and passed in both Houses of Parliament at the recent Special Session, the Congress alleged a deliberate delay in implementing the legislation and also flagged the non-provision of a sub-quota for OBC women.
It opposed the clause in the draft legislation, which mandated that it would be implemented only after a national census and a delimitation exercise.
Taking a leaf out of the Bihar Government, which recently came out with the findings of the first-ever caste census in the country, the Congress announced a similar exercise in Rajasthan, if voted back, and also one across the country if it wins the general elections next year.
To a reporter’s question on whether the partners in the I.N.D.I Allaince bloc had arrived at a consensus on seat sharing for poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the SP chief on Tuesday lobbed the ball to the Congress court, saying it should clarify on the seat allocation. In its manifesto for the Telangana polls, the Congress is considering the inclusion of a ‘Mahalakshmi’ guarantee, as part of which eligible women would be entitled to receive 10 grams of gold at the time of their marriage, party sources said.
“Discussions regarding this proposal are ongoing with senior party leaders. In addition to the existing commitment of providing Rs 1 lakh to the bride’s family through the ‘Mahalakshmi’ guarantee, the party is also considering giving 10 grams of gold to eligible women,” Sridhar Babu, the chairman of the Telangana Congress manifesto committee, said earlier this month.
Congress has already promised a ‘Mahalakshmi’ scheme, under which women will paid Rs 2,500 per month, provision of cooking gas at Rs 500 per cylinder and free travel for women in buses operated by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSTRC).
In the previous Assembly polls in 2018, the BRS finished far ahead of its rivals, winning 88 of 119 seats and bagging 47.4 per cent of the total votes polled. Congress came in a distant second with just 19 seats.
(with inputs from ANI)