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Don't see Congress coming to power on its own: Jairam Ramesh

CNN-IBN
Jan 18, 2013 at 01:43pm IST

New Delhi: Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that he didn't think it was possible for the Congress to come to power on its own soon. Jairam made the remark in Jaipur where the Congress will be holding a two-day Chintan Shivir. The party is expected to discuss the 2014 General Elections and the possibility of new alliances at the Shivir.

Jairam, however, told CNN-IBN that he didn't think the Congress could come to power on its own. "The Congress has structural issues," he added.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati seconded him, saying, "What is new in what he is saying? The Congress government is in power with the support of other parties. The UPA-I was also formed under Congress, with support from other parties."

It is believed that the Janata Dal (United) under Nitish Kumar and the Biju Janata Dal could be new partners of the Congress.

The only hitch in Congress's coalition politics, however, is Rahul Gandhi's 'ekla chalo re' desire. However, despite the fact that Rahul and many within the Congress who feel that amenable allies or a solo show would fast-track the Congress's growth, the reality is that the Congress just doesn't have the numbers anymore.

The grand old party has come a long way from the 1998 Panchmarhi Resolution when Sonia Gandhi said no to coalition. Since 2004, when the UPA came to power, the Congress's allies have often given the party sleepless nights.

Economic reforms and policies had to be put on hold with repeated threats of walkout by Left, with the Indo-US nuclear deal being the breaking point. In 2009, the UPA came back to power with a new ally, but this too didn't last long. The FDI in multi-brand retail led to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's exit.

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the party is almost negligible. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu offer little hope for the Congress.

At the Shivir, the Congress will look at the option of positioning itself as the only party which can bring growth, while acknowledging the need for coalitions. It will try to convince voters that too many parties inhibit growth.

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