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Rahul gets an earful for his comment on regional parties at Chintan Shivir

Rahul gets an earful for his comment on regional parties at Chintan Shivir

New Delhi: It is not yet known if the Congress' three-day Chintan Shivir instilled any spirit in its rank and file.

However, Rahul Gandhi ruffled the feathers of regional parties at the end of the session, saying the regional parties "lack the ideology" to counter BJP and RSS.

Political parties came out questioning Rahul, reminding him that the Congress no longer dominated the Opposition space.

Reacting to Rahul's salvo, the Congress ally JMM asked who had given Rahul the authority to comment on ideology, according to The Indian Express.

Party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya reportedly said Congress was relying on regional parties, be it JMM in Jharkhand or RJD in Bihar.

Another Congress ally, RJD termed Rahul's statement "unfortunate".

RJD MP Manoj Jha said ideological and electoral commitments of regional outfits against BJP should have been clear to him from poll outcomes.

Jha invoked RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav's advice to the grand old party that the Congress and BJP took on each other in 220-225 seats.

He asked the Congress to leave the remaining space for regional parties and accept the position of being a 'co-traveller'.

CPM said the Congress had an ideological crisis as it was flirting with "soft Hindutva".

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury reportedly said at a conference in Kochi that many in RSS and BJP did not see the Congress as a major threat, because its leaders could cross over to BJP.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev said the Congress was giving seats to BJP on a platter.

Sushmita Dev also said BJP is strong where Congress is the primary rival; BJP is not able to defeat MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andra Pradesh, Dev added.

The Samajwadi Party, another former ally of Congress, wondered if the Congress was the alternative to BJP why it was not seen as one.

Many other leaders across the political spectrum in the Opposition reacted to Rahul's statement. They include National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah and Senior Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra.

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