Lok Sabha Election 2019: The Congress party, that has last several leaders to the BJP in the run up to the Lok Sabha election, can take solace that it was able to rope in a former BJP chief minister's son Manish Khanduri in the party fold.
The Congress party that is grappling with the issue of exodus of its leaders before the crucial Lok Sabha polls, says that these defections actually harm the party which inducts these turncoats. The Congress party has last several important names to the arch rival BJP, including Gandhi family loyalist Tom Vadakkan. In Maharasthra, Congress-NCP alliance suffered a jolt as senior Congress leader and the leader of opposition in Maharasthra assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined BJP. Senior Congress leader and former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari spoke to Financial Express Online’s Krishnanand Tripathi about these issues. Edited Excerpts:
Q: There seems to be an exodus from the party, many people left the party including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil who joined BJP, Tom Vadakkan and former Congress MP Arvind Sharma.
A: In election season people come and go. I don’t think that these comings and goings really decide an election. Arvind Sharma left the party long time back. Arvind Sharma was not part of the Congress party. He had left long time back.
Q: These turncoats tend to flock with the winning party as per their perception. Do you think the party is losing the perception battle?
A: Well! The fact is that a lot of people do these cross-overs during the elections. In my little experience, it has zilch impact on the elections. But the fact remains that these defections and these floor crossings actually work to the detriment of the party that takes them rather than otherwise.
Q: This election is going to be the costliest one in the history of the country. How will you manage enough funds to fight this election?
A: Well! We crowd-source our funding. Therefore we go to the people and it is the people who contribute towards the election process.
Q: You are in opposition, in such a situation how will you face the fund raising capacity of the ruling party?
A: Well, if a ruling party has an advantage then how do ruling parties lose elections? If money was the only criterion for winning the elections then no ruling party would ever lose an election.