Is the Congress languishing on back-foot in the elections?

No, not at all. This is a well planned illusion spread by the Opposition and things would be clearer after the results. Every party has got its own style of campaigning. We reach out to the people; establish direct contact whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is creating ‘castles in air’ with the help of lies and advertisements. The Congress is in the mind of each and every person and it would be quite clear after the elections.

But several leaders of your party have already conceded defeat and they are also talking of providing support to the Third Front after elections.

No such question even arises. I don’t know about who is saying what now but the Congress will receive unprecedented support of the people and would form the government at the Centre with an absolute majority. We have full faith in our work, people’s support and hard-work of party workers. The government is not formed by advertisements and statements but by reality of statistics. Let the results come, the numbers and statistics will be in favour of Congress.

But the pre-poll survey is in the BJP’s favour.

I agree but had surveys been the basis of government formation then the BJP would have formed the government in 2004. Surveys are like juggling. Governments are formed by the support of people and not by wave and those who are talking about it will flow away with the wave after elections. I don’t give any importance to such speculations when it comes to a serious subject like politics. The political parties should have faith in their workers and programmes, rest of the talks are worthless. After elections, a Congress-led government is going to get formed.

Jairam Ramesh opines that politicians should retire after the age of 60. What’s your take on this?

I don’t want on comment on anyone’s personal observation. In which and what context he said, I don’t know but if any leader of the party has got any suggestion, he should place it before the party’s internal realms.

Narendra Modi is a subject of nation-wide discussion. How big, he is, as a challenge to Congress?

Modi is the biggest challenge for his own party. He is big challenge for the wrap and weft of this country. The Congress is a 128-year old party. We have been fighting against the communal forces right from the very beginning. History stands witness to this fact that whenever the nation faced any threat from communal forces, the Congress put up a defiant fight and the people’s support always proved helpful in trouncing such forces.

There is a discontent in BJP over cancellation of tickets in Gujarat. Can the Congress party benefit from it?

See, there is nothing called BJP, as an organization in Gujarat. They don’t have even candidates. The way BJP has distributed tickets in the state; they have overlooked a particular section. This reveals the truth about the exact state of mind of Modi. Be it Sanjay Joshi, Haren Pathak or Murli Manohar Joshi in Uttar Pradesh, it seems that they have been sidelined deliberately.

Several questions on Robert Vadra are making rounds. Is it causing any political damage to the party?

The prime question is whether the accusations are politically motivated or based on truth. This entire issue is politically motivated. The BJP has no issue to boast of. Robert is associated with Gandhi family and that’s why the BJP has made him a part of their political game-plan. There could not be anything worse in politics to target an individual to create an issue. The public knows everything.

There is a widespread discussion on Priyanka. Is she a leader of the future?

Just like party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka pumps in energy among the workers. She speaks from heart. She speaks the truth. That’s why her words leave an impact. As far as the question of party is concerned, she is working for it. She has shouldered a major responsibility in Amethi and Rae Bareli. What would be her role in politics; she will decide on her own.


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