4 ex-Ministers defend UPA-II govt, Manmohan

Party MP Rajeev Satav suggests introspection from UPA-2 period

Four former Union Ministers — Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Anand Sharma and Milind Deora, have come out in defence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA-II government following the recent comments of the Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav.

The four warned that party leaders should not play into the hands of ideological opponents by undermining its own legacy.

At a meeting of the party’s Rajya Sabha members with its president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Satav suggested that introspection in the party, if need be, should begin from the UPA-2 period. He countered former Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s suggestion for an introspection and argued that introspection should begin from the UPA-2 period to analyse how the party fell to 44 Lok Sabha seats in 2014.

Satav considered close to Rahul

Mr. Satav is considered close to former party chief Rahul Gandhi and his comments are seen as a symptom of the deep divide between the old guard and the young that has nearly crippled the party.

Mr. Tewari, who held the Information and Broadcasting portfolio in UPA-2, initiated the debate on Twitter. In a tweet on Friday, he said that while the question “was UPA responsible for decline in fortunes of Congress in 2014” a valid question, an equally valid one to ask was if there was an internal sabotage, more so considering no charge against UPA has stood the test of law six years on. Equally, the 2019 defeat must also be analysed.

“BJP was out of Power for 10 yrs 2004-14. Not once did they ever blame Vajpayee or his Govt for their then predicaments. In Congress unfortunately some ill -informed ones would rather take swipes at Dr. Manmohan Singh led UPA government than fight NDA/BJP. When unity is required they divide,” he said in a tweet on Saturday.

Mr. Deora applauded Mr. Tewari’s comments, saying that while demitting office in 2014, Dr. Singh noted that “history will be kinder to me” but he could not have imagined that he would face criticism from within.

Mr. Deora said, “Could he have ever imagined that some from his own party would dismiss his years of service to the nation and seek to destroy his legacy – that, too, in his presence?”

Tharoor’s warning

Mr. Tharoor warned that this was not the time to play into the hands of the party’s “ideological enemies”

“UPA’s transformative ten years were distorted and traduced by a motivated and malicious narrative. There’s plenty to learn from our defeats and much to be done to revive Congress. But not by playing into the hands of our ideological enemies,” he tweeted.

Mr. Sharma listed out the achievements of the 10 years of Congress government. He said the Congress, as a democratic party, was always open to debates on its achievements and failures. At the same time, he said, “Congressmen must be proud of the UPA’s legacy. No party disowns or discredits its legacy. Nobody expects the BJP to be charitable and give us credit but our own should respect and not forget”.

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