New Delhi: Former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar, who resigned from the Congress midway in the Assembly polls, on Tuesday said the country’s oldest party has moved away from the ground reality and no longer reflects the national mood. He also said in an interview to ‘PTI-Bhasha’ that he had reached the height of patience within the party. He said that the Congress lacks inspiring leadership and is facing the challenge of survival.
Kumar claimed that the Congress was heading towards its downfall, but it was not ready to introspect. Expressing grief over the controversy over the installation of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue at India Gate and Padma Bhushan conferring on Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kumar said the development shows a “frivolous attitude” which is not expected from the Congress.
Asked if there was any specific reason for him to quit the Congress a few days before the Punjab Assembly elections, he said, “Political discourse in Punjab was never at such a low level. The open fight over the chief minister’s post turned out to be a bad situation for the Congress and this development proved insignificant to all of us. It felt like barring a few, everyone else was irrelevant or did not deserve respect.”
“Amarinder Singh was humiliated and forced to resign, which was an ominous sign,” he claimed. He deserved much better than this. In view of the poor state of Punjab’s economy, it is imperative that there is a progressive and mutually agreeable politics and petty personal biases should be eliminated.
When asked about future plans, the former Union minister said, “I have not thought of joining any party yet, but my intention is to remain active in working for the people and the country.” Nothing can be said about what lies in the lap of the future.
Referring to the Punjab Assembly elections, he said, “The election results of Punjab will surprise a lot of people. I think Aam Aadmi Party will very easily form the next government in Punjab and Bhagwant Mann will be the next Chief Minister of the state. Punjab is ready for a sensational political change. Kumar also said that he has nothing to do with the ‘G23’ group of Congress. When asked that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says that people who are afraid of taking on the BJP are leaving the Congress, Kumar said, “It would be better for the party leadership to introspect itself than to find a shortage in the leaders who were forced to leave the party.”
Replying to another question, he said, “Congress is facing the challenge of existence as a national party. The party has moved away from the ground reality and no longer reflects the national mood.” He also said, “Regional parties have caught the pulse of the people, especially the youth. Congress is now virtually a party of three states. Regional parties may unite on the basis of a common minimum program in future, but none of them alone can challenge the political position of the BJP.
Asked whether he had conveyed his concerns to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Kumar said, “Yes, but patience has a limit. The heartbeat has become silent, all the sounds have fallen asleep, here only silence, now always give us someone, time has done what has been done.