DHARAMSHALA: Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and BJP leader Shanta Kumar on Friday said the Congress must come out of the Gandhi family’s shadows to become relevant again in national politics.
If Congress is eliminated from the political canvass, India’s democracy will be without a national opposition, he stressed.
In a statement issued here, the veteran BJP leader highlighted the Congress’ importance by calling it the only national party in the country after the BJP.
“The chariot of democracy moves on two wheels. One is the ruling party and the other is the opposition,” Kumar said.
The oldest party in the country, once led by the likes of Nehru, Gandhi, and Patel, has become a joke of late, he said.
Kumar praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing an able leadership, but also stressed the importance of a strong opposition in the country.
“Atal ji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) used to say that we should not always stay in the small walls of parties, that is why I am saying this while standing in the temple of the nation,” he added.
The 87-year-old leader said the only treatment for the Congress is to come out of the “slavery” of the Gandhi family, adding that there is more than one national leader in the party.
He also urged former chief minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh to not leave the Congress but sit together with G-23 leaders like Ghulam Navi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor to “fight for freedom” in the party and break out of the “bondage” of one family.
The G-23 referred to by Kumar is a group of Congress leaders who had last year written to Sonia Gandhi, seeking an organisational overhaul of the party.