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Senior ministers in UPA govt should have resigned to devote time to party work: Chidambaram

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Senior Congress leader claims efforts are being made to build the party organisation and that assembly poll results will reflect that.

New Delhi: Former finance minister P. Chidambaram has said that senior ministers in the UPA government should have been replaced and deployed for party work, which would have strengthened the party organisation.

“I think the real problem was and I say this on behalf of all my fellow ministers in the previous government we should not have remained ministers for 10 years,” Chidambaram said, speaking at an event organised by All India Professional’ Congress in Delhi Friday.

“I think in the last couple of years there should have been a Kamaraj plan of the government and senior ministers should have been asked to go back to the party. That was a valuable lesson taught to us by Kamaraj and Jawaharlal Nehru but a lesson that we forgot as a result the party organisation got neglected,” he added.

According to the Kamaraj plan, propounded by Congress’ southern stalwart K. Kamaraj, senior ministers had resigned from their posts to devote all their energy to the revitalisation of the party.

Responding to a question on what is wrong with the Congress party, Chidambaram said efforts are being made to build the party organisation.

“We are building the party organisation very rapidly. I think we have built it substantially in Rajasthan, in Telangana, in Chhattisgarh and I hope the results of the elections will reflect that we have built the party organisation,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, while agreed that such a plan could be made, he sounded a little scpetcal about it.

“While I agree with P. Chidambaram that yes you can have a Kamaraj plan but whether it would have made a substantial difference or not I don’t know,” Sibal said.

Also read: Formidable opposition alliance can be stitched to defeat BJP in 2019: Chidambaram

‘Minority needs to be vigilant’

Responding to a question by Shashi Tharoor, chairman of AIPC, on whether India was being converted into a Hindu Rashtra, Congress leader Salman Khurshid said the minority needs to be vigilant.

“I think this is a very critical moment for what is a very intrinsic and valuable part of Indian ethos. The minority has to be equally vigilant and careful because minority aspirations are legitimate as they are being misused and misrepresented by the BJP,” he said.

Khurshid also said that the minority outreach programme of UPA I and II was presented in such a manner by the BJP that it became a bugbear.

“Whereas I think in the world, a minority outreach programme of the kind that the UPA I and II unleashed is unheard of…but the manner in which it was presented both by the minority as indeed by the BJP it became a bugbear,” he said.

“I think…it detracted from the purpose which was to bring minority and majority together more solidly which is what Indian ethos and Constitution are about. And therefore the majority today I believe has an enormous responsibility but we must acknowledge that India is largely secular because Indian majority has ensured India is secular,” Khurshid added.

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  1. Two years before 2014, the hold of the Titanic was half filled with icy water. The easing out of senior ministers should have started after the party won a second term in office in 2009. The next generation – which had some very good people – was kept in a holding pattern, not allowed to mature. Consider the age at which Shri Pranab Mukherjee became FM. 2. These are the counter factual sos of history, but I feel Dr Singh stayed on for too long. He was designed for cruising altitude in placid weather, not able to navigate the storms that ravaged the flight of UPA II.

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