Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, who had criticised the party’s tie-up with Indian Secular Front (ISF) led by Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui in West Bengal, on Thursday trashed rumours that he was ‘hobnobbing with the BJP’.
Sharma, also a prominent face of the rebel G-23, said, “This is an ultimate insult. I cannot dignify gutter trash and garbage with any sort of response for whom this is natural habitat can thrive in it”.
On Monday, he came under attack from his own party after he said that the alliance was against the “Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism” and the party cannot be selective in fighting the “communalists”. Sharma, a former union minister and a leader of the group of 23 which had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding organisational overhaul, said the issue of “alliance” with a radical party like the ISF should have been discussed and approved by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
On questions of splitting or leaving the party, he added: “We are lifelong Congressmen and founders and builders of the party and dedicated lifetime and shall continue to make all possible efforts to strengthen and energise the party”. The senior Congress leader said that their “only objective is to revive and re-energise the Congress. Only a strong and united Congress can challenge the BJP dominance and restore the much-needed balance in the national political narrative which is essential and must in any democracy”.