GAYA: Amidst speculations of rift in the ruling NDA over face and seat-sharing in the upcoming elections, Bihar in- charge of Congress Shaktisinh Gohil on Monday ducked question on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s acceptability in the UPA and the possibility of another gear shift by him.
Talking to this newspaper in Gaya, Gohil said as of now the CM is with the BJP and so long as he is with BJP, question of any truck with him simply does not arise.
Gohil was here in connection with a political dinner hosted by Gaya Congress leader Md Moosa. Dinner invitees included former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and senior Congress leader and former union home minister of state Dr Shakeel Ahmad. A select group of city opinion makers including lawyers and medical professionals were also invited. Gohil appeared to be inquisitive about the chances of Congress regaining its erstwhile support base that included upper castes, dalits, Muslims and EBCs.
Asked whether the Congress/UPA doors have been finally closed on Nitish, Gohil said that the “door has not reopened.”
The Bihar in charge said that the party would work its own social engineering to win back social groups that traditionally have been Congress supporters and expand its social base in Bihar.
Reminded that the Congress and the RJD do have a largely common social base and Congress can grow only at the cost of the RJD in Bihar vis a vis minority and a section of Dalit votes, the Congress leader said a sizeable section of erstwhile Congress supporters (read upper castes) were disappointed with the BJP and they can easily switch to their former party. “The disappointment was heavy and it will definitely affect the 2019 outcome,” hoped Gohil. With regard to the common support base vis a vis RJD, Gohil said the party’s first priority will be to strengthen the alliance in Bihar and for that it was ready to make sacrifices.