BENGALURU: On a day former Union Minister and Congress veteran Jairam Ramesh painfully shared an article of Cheetahs hunted to extinction in India, his former cabinet colleague and ‘good friend’ Veerappa Moily, coincidentally chose to take aim at him! While Ramesh was reminiscing on Twitter about his efforts to reintroduce the big cat in India when he was Environment and Forest Minister, Moily held him responsible for the “policy paralysis” during the UPA-II government.
The attack on Ramesh comes days after the Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka batted for PM Modi and chided the opposition for ‘demonising him all the time’. Moily, who lost the Lok Sabha polls from Chikkaballapur, went all out against Ramesh accusing him of “compromising himself.” “He was responsible for the policy paralysis of our government (UPA-II),” Moily told a news agency.
‘Congress needs to take a firm stand’
“He (Ramesh) was also responsible for compromising the principles of governance many a time. He was Environment Minister and also minister in charge of Rural Development. A lot of hardship was created for industrialists in acquiring land and establishing industries. (When he was Environment Minister), everything was negative and no system was evolved to clear it (clearance for projects)”, Moily alleged.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who had backed Ramesh, was also not spared by Moily. “He is often fond of giving statements and finding his place in the press. That is all. I don’t think his (Tharoor’s) statement could be taken that seriously. He has to become a serious politician,” Moily remarked, lashing out at Tharoor.
Tharoor, in a recent interview, had said the opposition should acknowledge when PM Modi does good work, else they will lose credibility among people. But he also added that the PM should be severely criticised, if need be. “I do not accuse these leaders of going soft on the BJP, but that should not be the impression they give to the people. They are leaders and their stand has an effect on the cadre. The party cadre shouldn’t feel like they are leaning towards BJP. Such statements will have a demoralising effect,” Moily told TNIE.
Ever since Congress’ humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, senior leaders have come out in public about their disagreement with the party’s stand on several issues. This was seen more so after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A which gave special status to J&K.
“The party needs to take a firm stand and send out a message that unity and integrity are important. Congress is a liberal party. Dissent is always tolerated, but when it comes to decision-making and implementing it, unity of purpose should be upheld,” Moily told TNIE. When the party doesn’t pull up those who embarrass it, leaders like him are compelled to speak up, he added.