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The less said about BJP claims, the better- Khushbu

The 2016 Assembly elections are wide open, everyone wants change. Congress has benefitted from BJP’s stint at the Centre, says party spokesperson Khushbhu

The less said about BJP claims, the better- Khushbu


Chennai: Congress will ally only with a party agreeable to both seat and power sharing with us, says Khushbu, in an interview. Excerpts:

Will the 2016 elections be a defining one for the state?

I don’t think any party has a clear edge. There has been no development at all in the state. Freebies and cash distribution will simply not work; they may take your gifts, but people will not vote for you.

Has there been no development in TN?

It is all talk -- to mislead the people. The government claimed that Rs 2 lakh 42,000 crore was promised at the Global Investors Meet (GIM), with clearances to be issued within 30 days. TN is facing the height of unemployment, but nothing was done in the last four and a half years. Why did they not conduct a GIM earlier? They are doing it six months before the elections.

People may well say that the Opposition is raising its voice only six months before the elections.

The Congress has been speaking up every day. Ever since EVKS Elangovan took over, he has been hands-on; and clearly, people want change. 

Parties in TN have entered into election gear far earlier this time around.

Everybody wants to win this election. It is going to be a close fight.

Indications are that the AIADMK will go it alone while other parties will have to cobble an alliance. What is the Congress planning?

The BJP has not ruled out allying with any party. The DMK has not said anything about alliances. When the Congress gets into an alliance this time, it will be on a seat sharing basis. We will demand a ministerial berth for our party.

Do you really think the Congress is being seen as a game changer and can demand so much from allies?

The people’s view of the Congress has changed for the better in the state. With the BJP at the Centre, people now know that only the Congress can give secularism, safety and personal freedom. 

But your party is famous for its in-fighting. Are you seriously saying you are contenders for power here?

There may have been factionalism a few years ago, but not anymore. People have been misled into thinking so. Our party believes in complete democracy. 

It has been decades since people placed their full faith in the Congress in Tamil Nadu.

Yes, people had lost hope in the Congress, but things have changed in the last one year. EVKS has made a difference, we are going to the people and making a change.

What can you really offer the people?

We are promising development. When we come to power, we will offer free education from LKG to post graduate level, provide sanitation.

Who do you think is your biggest competitor?

Everybody is our competitor, but only the Congress can make a difference. To PMK, I say áll the best.’ We saw what happened to the BJP in the by-polls. As for the Congress, only last year, we started at the bottom and have now reached the top.

Where exactly do you see the pro-Congress tilt?

We have made great inroads in Madurai, Tirunelveli etc. After Deepavali the Congress will be everywhere.

Really? Do you seriously think you can have a consensus on a chief ministerial candidate?

Every party is asking this question -- why single us out? As for the CM candidate, our party leader Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will come up with a name closer to the election.

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