Bangalore, May 14 IANS | 7 months ago

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Wednesday cautioned the media against writing off the party and asserted it would bounce back as in the past.

"For god's sake, media should not write us off. We will bounce back as we did in 1977, 1989 and 1999. All political parties go through ups and downs," Digvijaya Singh told reporters here after reviewing the performance of the year-old Congress government in Karnataka.

Trashing exit polls as not believable, he said they would be proved wrong as in the 2004 and 2009 elections.

Exit poll surveys by various watchdogs and news channels Monday indicated that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would get a majority in the Lok Sabha and form the next government at the centre under its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

"If we (Congress) have to sit in the opposition, we will do to prevent the BJP from running amok with its communal agenda and communal politics. We also do not intend to support a Third Front because any coalition government can be formed only under the Congress leadership," Digvijaya Singh said.

Explaining why Congress would not support a Third Front government, he said that such an attempt was made in the past (1996-98) and proved unsuccessful, and only a coalition government led by the Congress could be possible.

Observing that winning or losing elections was part of the democratic game, Digvijaya Singh said whatever be the outcome of the polls, the party would not deviate from its ideology of socialism and secularism, which was distinct from extremism and fundamentalism of the BJP.

"The BJP talks about development in its poll campaign but resorts to communal politics, disturbing the communal harmony and social fabric of the country. We will fight any attempt to divide the people whether we are in government or opposition," he said.

Noting that democracy meant change, Digvijaya Singh said the party had fought the election to form the third UPA government and would do so if it got the opportunity on the basis of the poll verdict.

"Whatever the result, it will have no bearing on the leadership of our vice president (Rahul Gandhi) for whom we have got great regard, respect and confidence in his leadership," he said.

On the party's prospects in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh said the Congress was not too hopeful of winning and forming a government in Seemandhra region.

"We hope to form a government in Telangana, but we are not too hopeful in Seemandhra," he said.

Asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not campaign for the Lok Sabha election as much as party president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi did, Digvijaya Singh clarified that though the prime minister was not a mass leader, he did campaign for the party in some states.

"Manmohan Singhji is not a mass leader, he is a professional, an economist. He did campaign in Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal."

(Posted on 15-05-2014)

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