Cong rules out mid-term polls; hopes to get allies onboard
Despite allies striking discordant notes and virtually vetoing key decisions, Congress on Monday ruled out mid-term polls in the new year expressing confidence that it would find a middle ground through talks.
"Of course, the question of mid-term poll does not arise," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said in reply to a volley of questions on allies like Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam acting difficult for the government.
Amid continuing differences with Mamata Banerjee's party on Lokpal bill, Tewari also expressed hope of finding a "common ground" through talks.
"We will continue talk to Trinamool Congress so that we are able to find a common approach and common ground. We will definitely be able to find some middle ground by constantly talking to TC as also our other coalition partners," Tewari said.
Please click NEXT to read further...
Image: Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Monday expressed confidence that the party would find a middle ground with allies through talks.
'We will try and talk to each other to resolve issues'
To repeated questions as to why Congress failed to resolve the impasse on the issue with its ally, Tewari said, "Within the UPA alliance, there may political parties which may carry different political understanding of different issues. That is why you have a coalition. We will try and talk to each other to resolve issues."
Asked whether the party did not talk to Banerjee on the issue earlier, the Congress spokesperson reminded that the bill was passed in Lok Sabha and TC had also contributed to its passage there.
Banerjee's party had supported the UPA on the issue in Lok Sabha but changed stand when the bill came to Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Winter Session.
Image: Congress reminded that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress also contributed to the passage of Lokpal Bill in Lok Sabha
'Opposition creating a spectre of negative politics'
The Congress spokesperson targeted Bharatiya Janata Party for opposing the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha accusing it of doing "negative politics" throughout last year.
"Heavens would not have fallen if BJP would have supported the bill that was passed in Lok Sabha. After all, the same political formulation that passed the bill in Lok Sabha was present in the Rajya Sabha," Tewari said.
Accusing the opposition, especially the BJP, of creating a "spectre of negative politics" starting from the 2G issue to the Lokpal, the Congress spokesperson said all this negativism affected investment and over-all growth climate.
"We hope that the year 2012 starts on a positive note and opposition for the sake of opposition did not remain their signature tune and only swan song," Tewari said.
He reacted sharply when it was pointed out that BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad had questioned why it was the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy and not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who replied to the debate in the Rajya Sabha.
Image: File picture of senior BJP leaders addressing the media outside the Parliament
'A political party goes to polls on its own strength'
"UPA or the government does not choose its speaker on the advice of or to the liking and disliking of the BJP," Tewari said accusing the main opposition party of "complete lack of consistency" between their stated intentions and their professed actions.
To BJP's query on why the government did not club and accept the amendments in Rajya Sabha if it could do so in Lok Sabha, Tewari posed a counter question, "If BJP was fine with the bill passed in Lok Sabha, heavens would not have fallen had they allowed the passage of the bill in Rajya Sabha as well."
He also downplayed question regarding dim possibilities of Anna Hazare campaigning against Congress in the upcoming assembly elections and said a political party goes to polls on its own strength.
Image: Congress downplayed question regarding dim possibilities of Anna Hazare campaigning against the party in the upcoming assembly elections