IANS: Congress resolution talks about poll alliance. How do you see this as the party in charge of J&K?
Patil: Like-minded people in J&K like Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah of National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti of PDP participated in Bharat Jodo Yatra in the Union Territory, which clearly reflects that they are also ready to go with like-minded parties. Our only aim is to defeat the BJP.
IANS: If an alliance is formed in J&K, will the National Conference come with the Congress?
Patil: See, we haven’t discussed these issues in detail so far. The top leadership of the party will make a decision on such matters. Later we will sit down and decide these things together.
IANS: In your home state Maharashtra, the Congress is already in alliance…
Patil: Personally, I feel that wherever the Congress is not in a strong position, we have to align ourselves with like-minded people because we have to defeat the BJP, which is dividing the country. If you remember, Sonia Gandhi announced the alliance before the Shivaji Park polls, after which UPA 1 and UPA 2 were formed.
IANS: Will Congress go for ballot paper instead of EVMs for 2024 general elections?
Patil: Worldwide, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are used in several countries. Wherever we see a good democracy, they don’t use EVMs like USA, UK and Germany among others.
Then why should we use EVM? If there is even a minimal chance of tampering with the machine, why take the chance? Everyone should be given a fair chance in a democracy.
IANS: Sonia Gandhi has announced that her innings could end now. Your view on…
Patil: Being a woman, I would like to tell you that it gives a sense of fulfillment when you see that the next generation is ready to take the responsibility. They perform their duties. The Congress is going through a phase of transformation where all the new generation leaders are ready to take charge. But Congress will continue to seek her guidance whenever needed.