Congress down but ready for a long battle against Modi model: Chidambaram at India Today Conclave

Senior Congress chief and former union minister P Chidambaram on Friday stated that his social gathering is going through difficulties at the second, but is ready for a long battle against the Narendra Modi mannequin of politics.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave South 2021, the senior Congress chief stated, “Like any other political party, Congress also faces ups and downs. I agree that we have faced some setbacks.”

However, he identified that each one that the Congress social gathering must do proper now could be consolidate its place in a few states. “I think it is doable if we all sit together in the party, have elected bodies and put our heads together,” he added.

While he agreed that the Congress has been treading on a tough patch ever because the 2019 Lok Sabha debacle, he stated the social gathering will not be down and out.

“Go back to 2018-19, in five state elections the Congress won. People have very short memories. We won in Goa, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,” he stated.

“Those elections were stolen from us by the BJP. They are not the elected governments there. They are governments which were stolen from the Congress party with the help of governors,” he added.

“So, I don’t think anyone should decide the future of the Congress party by temporary defeats. Also remember, that we have had significant successes in the last two-and-a-half years.”

Chidambaram went on to say that he’s “confident” that the Congress social gathering will win in Kerala. “I am absolutely confident that our alliance headed by the DMK will score a thumping victory in Tamil Nadu and I think we have a fighting chance in Assam,” he added.

Speaking in regards to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chidambaram stated, “The BJP is in North India in about seven states, in seven other states the BJP is not in power. Therefore, it is not as if the BJP has sway over North India.

“Last time, there was a major battle in three states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP lost all three. Lost three incumbent governments. So would you then say that the BJP is also heading towards the ICU?” Chidambaram questioned.

“I am not denying that Congress is facing difficulties, I am objecting to your words ICU. Our electoral prospects have dimmed over the last 2-3 years. I am not denying that” he stated.

On Rahul Gandhi and PM Modi

When requested if Rahul Gandhi was shirking accountability, inflicting difficulties for the Congress, Chidamabaram avoided answering directly.

Instead, he stated, “A party’s leader can only be selected by party members. I have met nearly 35 booth level workers over the last three months, addressed nearly 35 meetings, spoke to thousands of workers in my constituency. Nearly 99 per cent out of the workers want Rahul Gandhi to take over as party president.”

“Now, whether that is a wise decision or not is not for you to judge. It is for the party workers to judge. That’s the truth,” he added.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi, P Chidambaram stated in contrast to different BJP leaders, he’s “cut from a different cloth”.

“He [PM Modi] controls the party, controls the government and is extremely clever in managing a direction. But I don’t think he is undefeatable [sic],” Chidambaram stated.

“He is likely to be defeated in many elections.”

‘Modi’s narrative problem to democracy’

When requested if India is in an undeclared emergency underneath the management of Narendra Modi following latest studies of diminishing freedom in India, he stated this has nothing to do with the emergency.

“The fact is that the Modi idea, the Modi theme, the Modi narrative, which the BJP has adopted wholesale, is a challenge to democracy. Everybody in the world who writes about it can’t be wrong. And everybody who writes about it can’t be partisan or biased,” Chidambaram stated.

“We have had several people belonging to the Right and to the Centre — think-tanks and academics — who have pointed out that it is a challenge to India,” he added.

“His (PM Modi) narrative is dangerous to the idea of India. Every institution has been taken over. Every intuition has been infiltrated. Every institution has been captured or tamed into submission. And that doesn’t exclude large sections of the media. This is dangerous to the idea of India.”

Chidambaram stated that he’s not demonising PM Modi, but declaring that the narrative set by him is “against the very idea on which India was born. That this will be a secular, liberal and open society.”

Has the ‘Modi mannequin of economics’ labored?

When requested whether or not he believes that the Modi mannequin of economics has succeeded within the nation, Chidamabaram stated, “Not at all.”

On CEA K Subramanian’s mention of V-shaped economic recovery, the former finance minister and noted economist asked, “Where is the V-shaped economic recovery?”

“What else can he (CEA) do, if he says anything else, he will be the ex-CEA.” He further said that India’s economy is not growing at all, adding that people should not look at “headlines put out by the CEA”.

Will Congress emerge stronger?

When requested whether or not he believes that the Congress social gathering will emerge as a stronger drive in future, he reiterated that the Congress social gathering has to consolidate its place in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

“We have a long battle in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but I think there are winds of change in Punjab, Haryana, at least Western Uttar Pradesh, and to some extent in Maharashtra and Assam,” he stated.

“But in that central India, Uttar Pradesh Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, we have great difficulties.”

“It’s a long struggle, but I am prepared for it even at this age. Now, younger men and women will be prepared for a longer struggle. Congress has had a history of long struggles, we will be able to consolidate and move forward,” he concluded.

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