‘Demonising Modi wrong’; Singhvi, Tharoor back Jairam Ramesh

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/24/2019 12:13:11 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 23 (Agencies): Congress leaders Abhishek Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor on Friday come out in support of party colleague Jairam Ramesh, saying demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “wrong” and he should be praised for doing the right things.
While Singhvi said Modi’s acts must be judged issue-wise, not person-wise, Tharoor said praising the Prime Minister for doing the right things would lend credibility to the opposition’s criticism of him.
“Always said demonising Modi wrong. Not only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him,” Singhvi tweeted while echoing Ramesh’s views.
“Acts are always good, bad and indifferent-they must be judged issue-wise and not person-wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds,” he said.
Tharoor also joined him saying, “As you know, I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time.”
It was reported that at a book launch on Wednesday, former Union minister Ramesh had said Modi’s governance model was “not a complete negative story” and added that not recognising his work and demonising him all the time was not going to help.
“It is time we recognize Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 per cent of the electorate,” Ramesh had said.
He had also cited how successful the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) had turned out for the prime minister.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee also agreed with Singhvi saying, “Very true sir. Nation building is an ongoing process carried on by successive governments. Hope Mr Modi and team also realise this.”
“Instead of trying to diminish Pandit Nehru they should accept his and Congress’s immense contribution and carry it forward. Criticisms should be on policies, not personalities,” she said.
Countering Ramesh, former Union minister and Congress veteran K K Tewary said some “self propagating” leaders in the Congress had “hijacked” the party and were making all kinds of comments that were not in the interest of the party.
“Some self-propagating leaders in the party, who never fight elections and find a sanctuary in the Rajya Sabha, have hijacked the party,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 37.4 per cent of votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and won a whopping 303 seats of its own. The NDA, as a whole, secured nearly 45 percent of the total votes polled.
The Congress has been jolted quite recently by the support within for PM Modi's radical move to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Ramesh had said it was "time we recognize PM Modi's work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 per cent of the electorate." He said PM Modi spoke a language that connected him with the people. "Unless we realise that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy," said the Congress leader, who was minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Manmohan Singh government.
"Also, if you are going to demonise him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him," warned the former Union minister. He clarified that he was not asking anyone to applaud the prime minister but just wanted the political class to "recognize the traits he has brought to governance".
Ramesh had also cited what he called the success of PM Modi's pet scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to distribute gas connections to the poorest women. "In 2019, all of us in the political discourse made fun of one or two of his programmes, but it has turned out in all electoral studies that the (Ujjwala Yojana) is one single program which has been able to connect him with crores and crores of women and given him the political traction which he didn''t have in 2014," said the Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
Something had happened, he said, which had catapulted PM Modi from a "non-entity" in national politics in the 2009 general elections to someone who won elections back-to-back. "We talked about farmers distress throughout our entire campaign, people realise there was farmers' distress but they did not hold (Narendra) Modi responsible for it. You saw what happened in the elections result thereafter. We have to understand what made him respectable," he said.
These comments by Congress leaders contrast sharply with the line taken by the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress in the national election campaign earlier this year. Rahul Gandhi, who resigned as Congress president after the party's second straight debacle, had fashioned his entire campaign around the phrase "Chowkidar Chor Hai" based on allegations of corruption in the deal signed off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the purchase of Rafale fighter jets. The campaign flopped and the Congress was back to the drawing board.

 

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