Senior Congress Leader Mallika Arjun Kharge admits that Congress has failed the art of propaganda which has been mastered by BJP. But emphatically stressed that to win elections Congress cannot compromise with its ideology and secular principles attributing the victory in the recent assembly elections on sentiments, Kharge admitted that there was a wave which the opposition party failed to read.
On being asked as to who would be held responsible for the poor showing of the Congress, Kharge dismissed the nation of holding party Vice President accountable. He said if Prime Minister Modi needed 14 to evolve into politics why not give a few more years to Rahul. Kharge refused brand Rahul to be compared with Brand Modi saying they were like different poles.
Speaking on the larger battle of 2019 Kharge said Congress will evolve as a successful platform to bring together different forces to fight BJP.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV Anchor Neelu Vyas
Q) It seems congress is taking things lightly it has lost the traction of the people?
A: We don’t take elections easily, we are doing our best, people benefitted more from Cong BJP excels in propaganda , BJP taking credit for UPA schemes, All welfare schemes initiated by Congress
Q) Questions are being raised over Rahul Gandhi, is he the right choice for Congress?
A: Our leadership is strong, we are connected to the grassroots, we don’t believe in propaganda like BJP, Alliances for the sake of ideology, we have to keep communal forces at bay. We cannot change our secular principles, we achieved success through welfare schemes, and all progress can be attributed to Congress
Q) What is stopping congress from talking about the New India?
A: New India of Modi is hogwash, PM believes in false propaganda, a lie repeated 10 times looks like truth, and Democracy has to be kept alive. People voted emotionally in these elections, congress is devoted to principles, we cannot copy BJP’s false propaganda, we can’t shed ideology to win elections
Q) It seems congress is happy to make piecemeal gains, you tied up with SP, in UP, JDU in BIHAR, it almost looks like an add-on party?
A: We make alliances to implement our ideas; Our leaders sacrificed lives for the nation, Wrong to write off Congress, Failure is not because of leadership, Sonia Gandhi energised the party
Q) Do you think Rahul Gandhi needs to be given more time?
A: Need to give more time to Rahul , Modi took so many years to evolve, Rahul Gandhi will also grow politically, Modi lost Delhi, Bihar, Punjab, Manipur is a stolen the verdict, Goa has a tod-phod sarkar
Q) What is the counter narrative that Congress will offer for the battle of 2019?
A: We want to keep all castes, religions united, We believe in no discrimination, Constitution should be upheld, Congress is not keeping quiet , We need time to organise ourselves,
It’s a passing phase for Congress, Rahul Gandhi is doing his best, and Leaders in Cong have been given their due. I am here because of Congress
Q) National leadership of congress has a poor showing, you have to depend on the state leaders, and recent example of victory is Amarinder Singh?
A: Amarinder acknowledged Rahul’s leadership, Amarinder took Sonia’s blessing , Outside forces want to divide Congress , Rahul is strategising for 2019, Other parties will be taken into confidence, Ground level workers are doing their best , Media is portraying a wrong picture of Cong , Congress is working as a team, Congress will take time to evolve
Q) There is a perception that high command culture is inhibiting the growth of congress, many senior leaders don’t go out on the field and are armchair strategists?
A: High Command consults everyone, Local leaders are taken into confidence, BJP is all about PM Modi, and Rahul takes everyone’s view
Q) Is it not true that your part selects the chief ministers and PCC chiefs from the centre?
A: Powers are given to PCCs, some decisions are taken at AICC level
Q) If you look at brand Rahul and Brand Modi, is it not a battle of unequals?
A: Media should not compare Rahul with Modi, Rahul is committed to his ideals, Cong, and BJP ideologies are different.