Tarun Gogoi says Congress most democratic party in India

Tarun Gogoi says Congress most democratic party in India
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Guwahati: The Opposition's anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 'grand alliance' failed to take the desired...

Guwahati: The Opposition's anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 'grand alliance' failed to take the desired shape as Congress president Rahul Gandhi chose not to "override" the sentiments of state leaders who did not favour the move, party veteran and thrice Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said.

Mr Gogoi, a six-term former MP and Union minister, also rubbished the BJP's allegation of the Congress being a "dynastic" party, insisting it was the "most democratic" in the country.

He said despite the opposition alliance being nebulous because of lack of formal tie-ups, the anti-BJP parties were united in their intent of defeating the saffron party and its allies.

"Rahul Gandhi was keen on alliance most of the time. But the local party leaders said no. Our party gives importance to regional leadership. That is why we have not been able to form alliances in many places," Mr Gogoi said.

"Though the Congress is often dubbed as a dynastic party, it is the most democratic party. Rahul Gandhi does not override the sentiments of local leaders who are heard and given due importance," he said. Mr Gogoi, when asked if a pre-poll pact between potential partners of the proposed grand alliance could have got them more seats, said nobody could predict that with any amount of certainty.

The Assam leader also appeared to favour the largest party in a winning coalition deciding which direction the government would take.

"Even in the case of an alliance, the largest party can administer and rule the country. That is also needed. The single largest party must have sufficient strength so that it is not dependent on alliance all the time. Otherwise, the alliance (its smaller constituents) would dictate. And that is not good for the country," he said.

Referring to the seat-sharing agreement betw-een the Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the West Bengal Assembly elections in 2016, he said it was not beneficial as "sometimes alliances do not help and go against our own interest".

The Congress leader conceded that uniting all Opposition parties on one platform is not an easy task as ideological differences and reluctance to cede political space to each other often come in the way.

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