Manmohan Singh addresses Bharat Bachao rally | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Two days after there was a sharp exchange of views between Congress’ old guard and young turks over its defeat in the last Lok Sabha elections, senior party leaders Saturday came to the party’s defence.

From former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor to former Union minister Anand Sharma — all hailed the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

This is because, at a virtual meeting Thursday, some young leaders had asked the Congress’ old guard “to introspect from the UPA II period” — which was led by Manmohan Singh — for the party’s humiliating defeat in the 2019 elections.

At the meeting of the Congress’ Rajya Sabha MPs convened by Sonia Gandhi, sources told The Indian Express that former Union Minister and senior leader Kapil Sibal spoke about the need for “introspection” on the Congress defeat in the elections. 

“Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram said the party should reach out to people to understand their disenchantment with the Congress. It is learnt that newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Satav was more blunt — he said introspection should begin at home,” according to the Express report.

Satav, 46, is a former Youth Congress president.

“Introspect by all means…. but how did we come to 44…that should also be looked into. We were 200-plus in 2009. You are all saying this (need to introspect) now. You were all ministers then. Frankly, it should also be looked into where you failed. You have to introspect from the UPA II period,” Satav was quoted as saying by an MP in the report.

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Also read: Congress’ 1970-style treatment of young leaders won’t work. It can learn from BJP


‘When unity is required, they divide’

In a tweet posted in the morning, Manish Tewari gave the example of the BJP’s ‘unity’ to contrast with the Congress’ lack of it.

“The BJP was out of power for 10 years (2004-14). Not once did they ever blame (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee or his government for their then predicaments. In @INCIndia (Congress), unfortunately, some ill-informed (leaders) would rather take swipes at Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government than fight the NDA/BJP. When unity is required, they divide,” the MP from Anandpur Sahib tweeted.

 

Sharma, meanwhile, put out a thread of 11 tweets, saying how the UPA government “led the country with a sense of purpose and a commitment to the common man”.

 

“Need to remind that India created a strong social security net through MGNREGA and Right to Food and made history by lifting tens of millions out of poverty, acknowledged by UN and the World Bank and celebrated across the world,” he wrote.

“India became the first country to quadruple its GDP in a decade and UPA left a two Trillion Dollar Economy and Foreign Exchange reserves of over 300 billion dollars. India story caught worlds attention and India became a globally favoured destination for FDI,” he wrote in another tweet.

Sharma, who is also the deputy leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, wrote that history will honestly record the commendable contribution of former PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. 

“The two leaders led India to a decade of compassionate and inclusive growth which all of us are proud of,” he said.

Attacking the BJP, the former minister said the UPA government was a “victim of a grand political conspiracy and malicious disinformation campaign of the BJP”.

“Congress as a democratic party is always open to a debate on its achievements and failures. Honest introspection and analysis are always helpful and gives strength to move forward,” he wrote.

UPA’s transformative 10 years were ‘distorted’

Former IT minister Milind Deora and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor echoed Tewari’s thoughts and retweeted him, adding their perspectives.

“Well said, Manish. When demitting office in 2014, Dr Manmohan Singh said, ‘history will be kinder to me’. Could he have ever imagined that some from his own party would dismiss his years of service to the nation & seek to destroy his legacy — that, too, in his presence?” tweeted Deora.

Tharoor, meanwhile, said that there’s “plenty to learn from our defeats” and “much to be done to revive” the Congress, but not by “playing into the hands of our ideological enemies”.


Also read: Call for young Congress leader to head party: Does age matter or is it just a catchphrase?


 

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12 Comments Share Your Views

12 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Anand sharma and others who are darbari of gandhi family, could you kindly clarrify that you all have have done a great job, then people of this country are fool.can you tell me what was the rate of inflation and death rate of farmers. can you provide us the list of corruption? what was the condition of terrorism and your action? pakistanis were beheaded our soldiers and took their head with them. what did you do?can you provide list of bomb blast.what was the definition of poor under your regiment?how id damad ji acquired so much land? After ruling 70 years, you have made our youth to carry mud on their head throuh MNREGA! What a development? After ruling this much, congress party made our farmers to wave off loans. can you tell me when you sent 100 paise, how much our people get? you all are darbari, you will never understan. you all at unlimitedly shoe lipping of gandhi family.keep on doing. As per congress party people of India are wrong.

  2. It’s time to act fast n quick need to strengthen back party from grass root levels find the ways to connect to people congress must look into this aspect rather than being in ac rooms n tweeting once a while without being connected on ground .The time has come to pay way for next generation

  3. Coming to the defence of MMS is justified, given all the achievements of UPA 2. . But all good PMs also had their low moments like Nehru with CHina. In the case of MMS it must be his failure to directly intervene in the 2G licensing procedures and enforce a rebid. He has given many reasons for this, but none convincing. The Congress must realise that it was this failure that led to loss of reputation for the UPA.

  4. Only the Lutyens media the pall bearers of the gandhi family r worried about the family’s existence. But India has long ago decided to get rid of the family. Don’t say the family practices secularism because Rajiv only brought an amendment in Shahbano case to deny maintenance to a divorced destitute elderly women.

  5. instead of discussing , arguing abd countering with in themselves congress should ask the people why they did not vote for them – one thing is sure – common men gained nothing during UPA 2

  6. Poor Manmohan Singh. Blamed for others mistakes. Surprise why nobody blames Gandhi scions, whose ok only interest was make money and stack in forein banks. UPA went and told Supreme court they can’t release rotting food grains in the FCI godowns for the dying people of Orissa. Now claim they worked for poor. Self centred leaders who are somebody looted the country left and right. 2014 to 20, they were immersed in their past glory. Now they talk of introspection. Leaders like PC, Mani, Manish etc should be ashamed of their conduct.

  7. It is good that there are such discussions within the Congress, even of there appears to be conflict. But the real value comes if it leads to something productive.

    What can be productive for the Congress if it is to have fighting chance for the future to come back into the reckoning

    A. Gandhi family takes a back seat in terms of taking any kind of public office and focuses only on being a guiding and sounding board for the party. Given the inherent competence levels visible, Rahul Gandhi should focus only on building the organization under his mother’s supervision and keep his public pronouncements to the very minimum

    B. The younger generation (or what is left of it) who have leadership capabilities, need to be put in charge of each state to bring ground level political presence and organization back in shape. In states where Cong has power they should take charge of either the chief ministership without a role in party organization or head the party organization without a ministerial role.

    C. The old guard has to step back and play the role of the equivalent of BJPs “Marg Darshak Mandal” though with an active role. The Gandhis stepping back and eschewing office could set the example. They could either be accountable the younger generation put in charge of state successful or working in think tanks on political direction and rejuvenation of the party or lending expertise to build and competent alternate program in areas like economics, agriculture, employment, exports, defence, human rights and police reform etc

    It might even be worthwhile to see if a remerger with Congress splinters like NcP would be productive to get back into power. It might just provide additional leadership bandwidth and gentlemen like Sharad Pawar could pull senior Cong leaders together as well

    In absence of any action but just internal wrangling the party will only go further into the swamp. If the Gandhis have any foresight they will use this opportunity productively

  8. Hypocrisy at its best. These are the very same people who vilify and denigrate P V Narasimha Rao – the architect of the Indian economic transformation. Not once did they praise him or point out his invaluable contributions to modern India. Why? Because Ms. Gandhi harbours a dislike for him. Even on his death, the party did not consider honouring him and celebrating his achievements. Instead, his family was cold shouldered.

  9. Can you tell us the names of the people who asked Congress to introspect. I’d probably want to vote for them in the next election.

  10. Congress is depicting a real life generation gap between the old and young leaders. Generally the young leaders should finally won. But in case of Congress it’s the other way. The primary reason why young leaders can’t stand up to old ones in Congress is young ones leadership i.e. Rahul Gandhi.

  11. Given the way the anti BJP media portrays Shri Amit Shah, I am surprised that they have not held him responsible for planting Shri Rajeev Satav in Congress. On a more serious note, it is fun to see how the elderly “senior” leaders are getting worked up on the comments of their middle aged “young” leaders.

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