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Why Congress is not allowing Rahul Gandhi to step down, Veerappa Moily explains

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RAVISH TIWARI: The Congress ended up with its second worst efficiency ever this Lok Sabha election. Did you not see this coming?

On benefit, we thought the Congress would come to energy. That is because the NDA might not reside up to lots of its guarantees — on GDP, employment, agriculture, and so on. Even with reference to the 2014 manifesto of the BJP, we can’t give him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) 10 out of 100. On these parameters, they need to have lost and we should always have gained. In fact, not single-handedly, but the Opposition ought to have shaped the federal government beneath the management of the Congress… It is thanks to the skilful storytelling of Narendra Modi that they acquired 100% marks (even after getting) zero on performance.

RAVISH TIWARI: The Congress pressured PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to sweat it out for Gujarat (2017). After that, the social gathering stopped the BJP from forming a government in Karnataka and, extra just lately, shaped governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Why didn’t the get together stick to that narrative when it sought votes this time?

Nationalism and Hindutva — and Modi’s articulation of those two elements — should have clicked (with the voters). There is no other purpose in any respect. Any government will probably be judged by their efficiency… We had to converse on the non-performance of the government. It might look unfavorable as towards the constructive story of the NDA… It did not click. We spoke on corruption, employment… I used to be chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance in Parliament, where majority of the members have been from the BJP… All of the stories unanimously spoke out towards the federal government’s performance.

RAVISH TIWARI: What are you telling individuals who voted for the Congress?

We now have to rework our methods very skilfully. The Congress doesn’t want to get disillusioned or disillusioned as a result of this is the primary time the BJP has scored greater than 300 seats, whereas the Congress has scored greater than 300 seats six occasions… The BJP and Congress are nationwide parties, the remainder of the parties are regional outfits. The Congress has to survive for a lot of extra years to maintain democracy… So we now have to work, not by imitating the BJP’s philosophy — communalism, casteism, parochialism… We’ve to revisit our roots — the philosophy of the Congress, the philosophy of our nation, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, inclusiveness and so forth.

ABANTIKA GHOSH: Do you assume the categorisation of Congress as a nationwide get together and others as regional events ended up costing the Congress potential allies, and ultimately the polls?

In the event you construct a coalition, it should not be only for the sake of elections. It has to be accomplished methodologically and strategically. If the coalition ethos is not unfold across the rank and file of the events, it doesn’t work. In Karnataka, all of us turned a victim of the coalition. You allot seats on the eve of the elections and need the coalition to work… How will it work? The coalition that is practised in Kerala is very best. As common secretary, I used to be also in command of Kerala. There the coalition works right from the mandal degree to the block degree, Assembly degree, proper up to the Lok Sabha degree. This is the coalition that is needed. The Congress has to take up this management and that was not carried out… I need to inform you that each one of us misplaced due to the coalition.

KRISHN KAUSHIK: Why is Rahul Gandhi not being allowed to step down and may the Congress work and not using a Gandhi at the prime?

Rahul Gandhi took over as president of the Congress only in 2017. He hardly obtained two years. He led the social gathering to success in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. This election he failed. I don’t assume it (the failure) could be straightaway attributed to only one leader. It has to be shared by everyone. Some investigation or research work has to be completed. But that has to be achieved on benefit, in any other case we’ll end up taking an abrupt choice. In fact, we should always respect his gesture of offering to step down after taking ethical duty. But that doesn’t imply that he has to all of a sudden or abruptly surrender. We now have two-three Meeting elections arising and the celebration has to gear up. Even when he have been to step down, it ought to not be at this stage, but only after taking steps to reorganise and resurrect the get together.

KRISHN KAUSHIK: Many state PCC chiefs resigned owning ethical duty after the defeat. What makes Rahul Gandhi’s case totally different from theirs?

Rahul Gandhi is a national leader. The remainder of them (state-level leaders) sent their resignations, but they have not yet been accepted. I feel we have now to take a healthful view of the political state of affairs.

RAVISH TIWARI: An enormous political setback ought to have generated a churn within any celebration. However voters saw no such churn inside the Congress publish 2014.

I agree that there ought to be a churning process and that has not happened after 2014. It has to happen this time at the very least. Only after the churning can we reply questions comparable to who ought to be accountable for what, who should resign and who ought to be changed. So there is all the time a scope for the Congress to rejuvenate… The Congress has a future and it is going to keep. Whether they’re CWC members or state unit leaders, everybody has to take duty, including myself. This is everyone’s defeat, not solely of Rahul Gandhi. In the means of introspection, there ought to be some casualty. And the sooner it is completed, the higher for the social gathering.

P VAIDYANATHAN IYER: In a while, a number of states shall be heading to polls. Do you assume there must be a timeline for this churn?

The churning has to happen right now. In two to three months, the get together has to be rejuvenated….

P V VAIDYANATHAN IYER: You attributed the BJP’s victory to Hindutva and nationalism. Don’t you assume that welfare schemes resembling Ujjwala mattered to widespread individuals?

Throughout UPA-II, a (cooking fuel) cylinder value between Rs 250 and Rs 300. Now it prices round Rs 1,000. Nobody received cylinders free of charge beneath the scheme (Ujjwala). So I don’t assume it helped (voters). GST ended up creating extra confusion than resolving it… Demonetisation failed — it put all migrant labour out of jobs, led to unemployment. Take electricity — according to newest statistics, not even 50% of the capability is being utilised… Financial institution scams have been the very best…. NPAs are the very best at 15%… Each sector has suffered.

ABANTIKA GHOSH: The outcomes show that folks did not buy any of the Congress’ arguments. Going ahead, what will probably be your new narrative?

Voters did not buy it, because there was no time. Pulwama got here first, then Balakot… Finally, the actual story will come out in the future. That is one other situation. But with Hinduism and this aggressive marketing campaign on nationalism, individuals did not take a look at some other challenge. Just because they gained the election doesn’t imply you’ll be able to draw any inference that their performance was par excellence… At the similar time, I don’t assume Hindutva or communalism are things we will adopt in the Congress. If that happens, the existence of Congress itself might be in question. We should always have our narrative which is up to date, modernised and one which responds to the challenges of the youth and others.

ABANTIKA GHOSH: But you’re already toeing the delicate Hindutva line. Visiting temples, speaking concerning the caste of your president and so on.

Finally it was solely nationalism and Hindutva that folks cared for, although they have been struggling — agriculture was at its lowest, there was an environment of misery in all places, but nothing mattered. Nothing of what (Modi) stated within the 2014 election marketing campaign figured this election. He did not assume it applicable to refer to those guarantees — ‘achhe din’, Rs 15 lakh to be deposited in every citizen’s account… all this stuff disappeared.

RAVISH TIWARI: Are you suggesting that over 22 crore individuals (who voted for the BJP) have been fooled?

I gained’t say fooled, they have been swayed. In any other case, in a democracy like India, or take the demographic historical past of any country, at no level of time have the bulk group spoken about being victimised, aggrieved. Right here it is occurring. Whether or not they have been fooled or not, it is a proven fact that such a marketing campaign was completed. Even now, 99% of the wealth of this nation is being handled by 1% of corporates. That exhibits how deep the suffering is.

RAVISH TIWARI: You identified two points that the BJP is going to cling to election after election — nationalism and Hinduism. What is going to the Congress’ response be?

I feel we’d like to work out an alternate, not merely comply with or imitate them. We’d like to revisit the ideology of the Congress… Even the place economic theories, ideologies are concerned, we’d like to revisit those and that doesn’t imply giving up. We’d like to make individuals understand who stands for whom.

RAVISH TIWARI: Senior Congress chief A Okay Antony was charged with the duty of understanding what occurred in 2014. Why has the report not made public?

I’m sorry to say that I’ve also not seen that report.

RAVISH TIWARI: Don’t you assume it ought to be made public?

If there is a report, they should make it public.

RAJ KAMAL JHA: But did you not ask for the report?

I’m only within the Central Election Committee, I used to be not in the Congress Working Committee. That’s why I didn’t have to ask for it… What is the point seeing the report now? All that has handed. It has to be completed afresh. (The new report) ought to embrace why we failed in 2014 also.

KAUNAIN SHERIFF M: What is the way forward for the JD(S)-Congress alliance in Karnataka?

If the coalition has to work, it has to work properly. If it can’t work, there is no level working in a coalition. Simply to keep in energy, you’ll have to sacrifice your complete get together. That is what is occurring. If we had to contest independently, we might’ve gained.

KAUNAIN SHERIFF M: In the course of the earlier CJI’s time period, Congress MPs have been on the forefront of shifting an impeachment movement towards him (CJI Dipak Misra). Do you assume that was a hasty choice?

I did not agree with our leaders once they moved the impeachment motion. Because until there are concrete doubts, you can’t move that. I raised my voice towards it….

KAUNAIN SHERIFF M: Regulation minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that his workplace will not act as a “post office”. As a former regulation minister, how do you define the position of the chief in clearing judicial appointments?

The proposal (for appointment) comes from the Supreme Courtroom collegium. They contemplate it on benefit. Provided that it is alright, can we forward it to the Prime Minister. Then it goes to the President. Before that, we look at all points — character, background of all candidates who have been really helpful. There are instances we send back and talk about. During my tenure, I have personally gone to the Chief Justice of India and said causes (for reconsidering a specific identify) without creating any friction. The regulation ministry want not be a publish workplace… I feel that he (Ravi Shankar Prasad) has not understood his duty. We by no means stored information for months and cleared them instantly.

RAVISH TIWARI: The Congress gained polls in 2004, 2009 and lots of Assembly elections with EVMs. But now the get together needs to go back to ballot papers.

In 2009, the BJP raised questions. As regulation Minister, I constituted a committee with know-how specialists from Germany, Britain and the US. They gave a report that every little thing is okay. But one ought to understand that these are pc techniques and they can be hacked… Earlier, I had found that there was nothing. But that doesn’t imply that my opinion holds true even at present. Virtually all Opposition parties have raised doubts concerning the EVMs.

KRISHN KAUSHIK: How essential is the Gandhi family to the Congress?

The Congress has worked even without the Gandhi family. And the household has all the time been reluctant to be a part of (the social gathering). Rajiv Gandhi was reluctant, but finally, the rank and file of the social gathering needed him. Sonia Gandhi was reluctant. Even Rahul Gandhi was reluctant for a lot of years. He was requested to be a part of the Manmohan Singh Cabinet and he refused. They are not greedy for power or position… The Gandhi parivaar is part of the Congress parivaar. They are not above the Congress.

P V VAIDYANATHAN IYER: The Congress is typically accused of being a dynastic get together. Why does the get together still hold conferring upon the members of the Gandhi household the management mantle?

That cost has been there because the time of (Jawaharlal) Nehru. But to say that the cost will completely stick to the Congress is not right at all. Each time there was another leader who is relevant, the social gathering has not stated no. Manmohan Singh was prime minister twice. Sonia Gandhi might have turn out to be PM if dynasty rule had to be perpetrated.

RAVISH TIWARI: Whereas the BJP has already appointed a working president, there is no readability within the Congress’ strategy.

Why ought to Amit Shah continue as president of the BJP? He has plenty of work as house minister… he is holding all the interior committees and departments. He may have no time to work in the get together, however nonetheless he would really like to have a maintain on the social gathering. That is why he has put his own man as working president. The focus of energy within the current NDA regime is with two individuals — the PM and Amit Shah. The opposite level is… the principal secretary to the PM gets a Cabinet rank, the additional principal secretary gets a Cabinet rank… This is like building one’s personal empire. On this process, minimum authorities, most governance is the most important casualty.

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