BJP mulling early polls as it is in panic after success of INDIA meetings: Cong

Ahead of the INDIA bloc meeting, Sonia Gandhi to hold Congress strategy meeting to plan for special Parliament session

Congress views the BJP's actions as a response to the growing unity among opposition parties in the INDIA bloc (photo courtesy: AICC)
Congress views the BJP's actions as a response to the growing unity among opposition parties in the INDIA bloc (photo courtesy: AICC)


The Congress on Monday said the ruling dispensation is in panic after the success of the Opposition INDIA bloc meetings, which is why it is mulling holding the Lok Sabha elections earlier than scheduled, and has formed a panel to explore the possibility of 'one nation, one election'.

The party also said it is ready to face elections any time. The Congress reaction came a day ahead of a meeting of Opposition MPs of the INDIA bloc convened by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence.

The Congress parliamentary strategy group will also hold another meeting on 5 September, ahead of the Opposition meeting.

Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal said in view of the special Parliament session from 18-22 September, the party has convened a meeting of its parliamentary strategy group at 10 Janpath, which will be followed by another meeting of "like-minded political parties".

"We will discuss our strategy about the Parliament session," he told a press conference.

Asked about the possibility of early polls and whether the Congress is prepared, Venugopal said the ruling BJP is in panic, and that is why it is "hurrying up" on polls.

"They want an early election, which means they are totally panicked after the INDIA alliance formation and our three consecutive meetings. That is why they are hurrying up," he said. "We are prepared for anything," the Congress leader added.

He said party MP Rahul Gandhi has already spelt out the Congress's stand on 'one nation, one election' — that it is against the federal structure of the country.

"Rahul Gandhi and the honourable Congress president have stated that it is a clear attack on the federal structure of the country. It is a clear attack on the Parliamentary system also. Whenever this type of a thing comes up for a discussion, we will chalk out our ideas, talk about our future plans. Not only among ourselves, we will discuss with the other partners of the INDIA alliance and then, we will formalise the strategy," Venugopal said.

He added that future actions will be explored at the INDIA alliance meeting.

Venugopal also questioned the exclusion of the recognised leader of opposition from the 'one nation, one election' committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, and the inclusion of a former LoP instead.

"These are things that only the BJP can do. There is no respect for democracy, no respect for the Constitution... this is what we expect from the BJP," he said.

Asked why a convenor or chairperson has not been selected for the INDIA bloc, Venugopal said he does not want to fan "rumours" and the issue will be dealt with separately.

On talks about Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury giving his consent before the notification for the panel on 'one nation, one election', he said, "I have spoken to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.... He told me very clearly that he did not give any consent for being a member of that committee."

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