Congress Should Shed Its Image of Appeasing Muslims: Mani Shankar

Published: 06th October 2014 12:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2014 12:16 PM   |  A+A-

Mani Shankar Aiyar_PTI

MELBOURNE: Senior congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar said that Congress party must battle to shed its image of appeasing Muslims of India.

"Such a deep misconception has to be battled on domestic and foreign policies and it needs a secular activism of unusual order," he said.

Aiyar has expressed hope that Congress Party will bounce back in due course of time once two of its top leaders - Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi - work out modalities of the party.

Refuting that the Congress' future was now long gone, the former union minister said the future was written in the party's history of 129 years that passed its baton from one generation to the other.

"We have mother who is Party president and son is the vice president and between the two they have to work out how the baton will be passed," Aiyar, who was here to participate a public lecture organised by Australia India Institute (AII), said.

"In the past there has been smooth transition and the older generation retained some of the posts and newer generation which occupied the other posts," he said.

"We can't have a situation developed where everyone who have served the Congress is kicked out and those who have not are brought into very important positions," he said.

He said there has to be an "intelligence mix" of both older and newer generation.

The mix was currently being worked out by Sonia Gandhi and her son and once they are ready with it the current hiccup of the Congress party will come to an end and we will move forward, he said.

Aiyer admitted that the party went into real shock after emerging from the last elections with mere 20 per cent of the total seats it had.

He said the party was in the self introspection mode and discussions were now on.

"In any case there was very little we could do. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a majority of its own. At the moment, Congress is in calm frame of mind and because the process of introspection is on that seems to be seen as lack of action," he said.

"Final plans and actions of the party which are currently  being worked out by the leadership will be revealed to the All India Congress Committee and discussed in the plenary," he said.

Asked what would be his message as a senior party leader to Rahul Gandhi, Aiyar said it would be revert back to his father's program to ensure there was unambiguous leadership on the top, to come out in open and to be as articulate on media and public platforms.

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