Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, at a meeting of Congress workers in Aizawl on Friday, said “non-Congress governments are easier to deal with” and that he “would not hesitate to say this in front of party chief Sonia Gandhi”.
The Congress veteran, who attended Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as PM on May 26, also said the Congress high command had told all Congress CMs not to attend the ceremony.
“AICC in-charge of North East Luzinho Faleiro called me to say this. Even Manipur CM Ibobi Singh and Arunachal CM Nabam Tuki called me to ask what to do, and I told them I was going,” Thanhawla said.
“All the state CMs being invited to the swearing-in was unprecedented. And I am happy a former CM is now a PM because he will understand the difficulties faced by states. He will, however, be judged by his work,” Thanhawla added. The CM also defended Modi’s appointment of Smriti Irani as HRD Minister. “The PM has the authority to distribute portfolios. Irani should not be criticised at this stage but should be judged according to her work,” he said.
Talking about the Congress rout in the LS polls, Thanhawla said the party “paid for its misdeeds” and it “does not know how to face defeat”. He added he has written to Sonia to refrain from blame-game in the party and rather introspect instead. “In that way, the defeat we faced is good for us,” he said.
Elaborating on the reasons for the party’s defeat, Thanhawla said, “The former PM is an educated man, but he was always silent. It is regrettable that he said there would be great calamity if Modi becomes his successor.”
“It is also a regrettable that Mani Shankar Aiyar called him (Modi) a tea seller. Every state has many tea sellers and that worked against us,” he added. However, he maintained, “I will be a Congress member my whole life.”