New Delhi: In yet another rebuff to regional parties, Congress has said the entire nation must vote with an “all-India perspective” in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
“When the people go to vote this time they have to reflect whether they can risk the country at the hands of less experienced (people) that have let us down on earlier occasions”, the party said in the latest issue of its mouthpiece ‘Sandesh’.
The party said it is all very well to think of limited issues “but this time around the entire nation must vote on an all-India perspective”.
In an editorial, the mouthpiece said that the general elections in a democracy are a test of the true strength of a political party.
“Essentially it should reflect the acceptance of the policies enunciated by the party but in our country, issues of regionalism, communalism, caste and other emotive issues often sway the electorate,” it noted.
The comments in the Congress journal are significant as they came close on the heels of the party chief Sonia Gandhi’s statement that the nation needs a national party like Congress.
Speaking at a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) a fortnight ago, Gandhi had said that the forthcoming polls are for “electing a national government, a government that has an all-India perspective, a government that has the concerns of the entire country...”
She said the party will go to the people on the basis that India needs a national party which is equally sensitive to regional and local sentiments.
Senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee too spoke of the importance of national parties vis-a-vis the regional parties.
“Whether it is BJP, whether CPI-M, whether it is SP, whether it is any Tamil party or RJD. Is there any political party which has five critieria.... its foreign policy, fiscal policy, its internal security policy?” he said at a closed-door media workshop of the party early this month.
The stand of the Congress is being seen as a rebuff to the attempts of the CPI-M to take the lead in the formation of the Third Front.
Party leader Sitaram Yechury has appealed to all “secular” parties, sans Congress, to join hands and work for giving the country an alternative policy direction through a Third Front in Lok Sabha polls.
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan on Monday gloated over the “deterioration” of the NDA, saying it was “virtually non-existent” and that there was no Third Front at present.