The decimation of the Congress in Delhi Assembly elections has once again triggered a churning within the grand old party, with senior leaders arguing that the defeat was a “final wake-up call” and that the party will be staring at the prospect of becoming irrelevant if it doesn’t reinvent itself. Senior leader M Veerappa Moily said deriving solace at the BJP’s defeat was “sadistic satisfaction” and that it is high time the party comes up with a “story” of its own.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Moily said “abusing” the BJP or its government all the time was not the way forward. He said the party’s central leadership should get its act together and revamp the party at all levels. He said there should be infusion of new blood at the top level too.
“It is a final wake-up call for the Congress party. We can’t delay a major surgery in the AICC and state units. You will have to attract young people to the Congress party. Only those people who have vested interests… they continue to remain in offices. They block the young, entry of new blood,” Moily said.
“We can’t piggyback on the other party. We can’t get satisfaction by saying that other people have defeated the BJP. No. We have to come up. How we should come up? That kind of introspection is deeply needed. This (P) Chidambaram saying that we are happy that the BJP is defeated. That is sadistic satisfaction. Congress should come back. It is capable of coming up…” he said.
Moily said people with vested interests have captured the party at all levels. “…People who had been defeated are given tickets… Defeated number of times… even then he or his nominee gets a ticket… there should be appropriate training at all levels… For that there should be proper leadership built at every level… It is high time that we do it,” he said.
“The AICC needs to be revamped totally. PCCs will have to revamped. Allow the people, inspire the people, motivate the people that this is the hope of tomorrow. 2023… if the Congress does not come up, it will never come back,” he said.
Moily said the strategy of criticising the BJP always is not working. “… Merely abusing the other party is not enough… Even if you are criticising, criticise constructively… Abuses and all these tricks will not help you. You have to look within yourself and then speak. We have to give out our story and say that this is the alternative path available,” he said.
“What is your story of development, progress, social justice…this is what is required. And there should be absolute honesty and clarity on what you say and what you do….”
Senior leader Jairam Ramesh also said the defeat of the party in Delhi is “unmitigated disaster like coronavirus”. He argued that the party must “ruthlessly” reinvent itself. “Congress party has to reinvent itself if it has to be relevant,” Ramesh was quoted as saying by PTI in Kochi. “Otherwise, we are staring at irrelevance. Our arrogance has to go, even after six years out of power sometimes, some of us behave as if we are still ministers.”
“The substance and style of our leadership has to change,” he said. Ramesh said the Congress should not be pandering to any religious sentiment of anybody and that is real secularism. “Real secularism is fighting communalism of all types with aggression… Unfortunately in the public, the propaganda is that the Congress is soft on minority communalism… We have to address this.”
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