Congress Hints Alliance with BTP in Gujarat Against Local Leaders’ Wishes

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AHMEDABAD — Congress is hinting of forging an alliance with Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) for the Gujarat Assembly polls against wishes of the local cadre as the grand-old party feels that the BTP can sabotage party’s poll arithmetic.

The Congress is of the view that if the BTP contests all 27 tribal reserved seats, it can sabotage party’s prospects.

Tribal belt is spread from North to South Gujarat, in which the Congress had won 15 seats in 2017 elections. Four MLAs of Congress have switched sides in the last five years and joined the BJP.

Sources in the party said Congress workers and leaders from Dediapada and Jhagadia are against any alliance with the BTP.

Party workers are confident to do better this time on their own, the sources added.

Bharuch District Congress Committee president Parimalsinh Rana told IANS, in the BTP’s stronghold, Congress has done better in taluka and district panchayat polls, why should the party ally with BTP.

He is of the view that if party state and national leadership decides against local workers and leaders’ wishes, it can have a far reaching impact on the party cadre’s morale.

“Come what may, Congress party workers in Tapi district will contest all alone if alliance is forged with the BTP,” said Bhilabhai Gamit, president of Tapi District Congress Committee.

“Congress cadre is far stronger than BTP. We have worked round the clock for the party. The party cannot discourage us by stitching alliance with the BTP,” he said.

Any alliance is decided by the state and national leadership, said Sukhram Rathwa, senior tribal leader and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, adding, “I have to abide by it.” — IANS

Cover Photo: Congress party MLA from Vansda Anant Patel addressing tribals in South Gujarat.

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