Spelling out Congress’ strategy for the coming Lok Sabha polls, former Union minister P Chidambaram, who is also the chairman of the Congress' manifesto committee said on Friday that Congress wants state specific alliances not national.
“All non-BJP parties should get together for state-specific alliances and not national alliances – that’s our motive,” stated the former Union Minister at the launch of his book 'Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India' at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi on Friday.
Calling his party the most vocal and accommodative in forming an alliance with the non-BJP parties, Chidambaram said the battle for 2019 is all about saving the idea of multi-cultural society of India.
On the question of stringent National Security Act (NSA) invoked against three persons arrested on the charges of cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh, Chidambaram said the Congress President Rahul Gandhi has asked MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath to correct the mistake.
“ The government has been told that it was wrong. I think the Congress president told people concerned that the use of NSA in Madhya Pradesh was wrong. That has been pointed out to the government,” said Chidambaram.
Asked about his party’s stand on the Sabarimala issue and Ayodhya, former union minister said Sabarimala is an issue of customs while Ayodhya is not an issue of customs; it’s an issue of faith.
“I personally support SC judgment. But if millions of people think otherwise who am I to tell them they are wrong? The party workers are expressing their views. How can I tell them not to take such a view?” pointed out Chidambaram
The Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP further said that he does not see BJP as an enemy but as “a political party that is at the extreme right of Indian politics” whose fate will be decided by the people of India.
Former union minister Salman Khurshid who also participated in a panel discussion moderated by journalist Soma Chaudhary, said Muslims have gone silent.
“ They are no longer protesting…as the minority minister, I used to hear protest every day but today nobody complains simply because they are beginning to feel that there is no body to speak for them.”
The book was released by former Vice President Hamid Ansari, who has written its foreword too.
“This is a well written, well argued extensively relevant book and a book about which I can say that I read week after week,” said Ansari.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi attended the book launch with husband Robert Vadra. AICC treasurer Ahmed Patel was also among those present.