Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Congress facing 'existential crisis' admits former Union minister Jairam Ramesh

Congress facing 'existential crisis' admits former Union minister Jairam Ramesh

Whatever Jairam Ramesh has said that can be his personal views.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said that the party must defend liberty and freedom of individuals and institutions. I think there is a lot of goodwill for the Congress, a lot of support for the Congress but people want to see a new Congress. It comes days after party Vice President Rahul Gandhi's auto was pelted with stones while he was on tour of flood-affected areas of Gujarat.

In the PTI interview, he also said it was wrong for the Congress party to think that anti-incumbency will work automatically against the Modi-led government in the states being ruled by the BJP in the elections.

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However, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar took a more soothing stand saying that Ramesh's statement saying it should not be ignored as he is a true Congressman. "The party really is in deep crisis". The "business-as-usual" approach would not work against PM Modi and Mr Shah, he suggested, adding that without flexibility, the party "will become irrelevant, frankly".

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former defence minister AK Antony, senior minister Ghulam Nabi Azad along with several senior ministers are present at the meet.

Although without naming anyone, Ramesh also took potshots at his party colleagues who still behave as if the Congress were still in power. The Congress Working Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday paying homage to the 1942 movement on its 75th anniversary, and AICC is learnt to be preparing for a showdown in Parliament, which will observe the anniversary in a special session on Wednesday.

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