‘Congress workers want Rahul to head party’

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) After the decisive victory of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, there is a general feeling and desire among Congress workers that Rahul Gandhi should immediately take over as the party president, party leader C.P. Joshi said on Monday.

“The manner in which Rahul Gandhi ji has played the role of a sutradhar (stage manager) in the victory of this Grand Alliance, the party workers are enthused about it and there is a desire and general feeling among them that he should immediately take over as the party president,” the Congress spokesperson said.

Joshi also indicated that the Congress would be part of the government formation in Bihar.

“When we say we have given commitment to the people of Bihar, then it is our responsibility to implement the seven-point programme, then we’ll naturally consider all these aspects. We owe to the people of Bihar,” he said.

On the issue of entering into an alliance in other states, he said: “It will depend on the political challenges and organisational strength of the party in those states.”

The Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress won a whopping 178 of the 243 seats, leaving the BJP — which campaigned hard to oust Nitish Kumar — and its allies with just 58 seats.

Talking about the victory, Joshi said: “It’s a victory of virtue over arrogance in Bihar. Victory of brotherhood over hatred. And a victory of democracy over tantra-mantra.”

“The people of Bihar have given a mandate against hawa-baazi (empty promises) and jumle-baazi (idiomatic slaganeering) and voted for sarkaar kaam-kaaji (working government). We have achieved this victory under the leadership of Nitish ji, strength of Lalu ji, personality of Sharad (Yadav) ji and vision of Rahul ji.”

“When the grand alliance was formed, Rahul wanted clarity about the leadership of the alliance. When he was convinced that Nitish ji would be the leader, he agreed to extend full support to him,” Joshi added.

Speaking about the goal of the Grand Alliance, Joshi said: “The primary goal of this alliance was to defeat those who spread the politics of hatred and take up the issues of development for the poor, the farmers, the backward classes and all sections of the society.”

“This is a mandate against the ideology of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), the rule of the BJP at the Centre for 18 months and their policies.”

On the issue of cooperating with the central government in passing bills during parliament’s winter session, Joshi said: “So far all the important bills have been passed in parliament with the support of the Congress, unlike UPA-I and II when they stalled so many proceedings.”

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