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Congress 'Sherpas' failed in communication: Jairam Ramesh

Sunday, 4 May 2014 - 6:25pm IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: PTI

In unusually blunt remarks, Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said top Congress leaders were "found lacking" in political communication and the party was unable to effectively counter BJP's aggressive campaign of projecting UPA as a corrupt regime.

Acknowledging that anti-incumbency is something the Congress has to counter after being in power for ten years, Ramesh said, "We have not been successful in political communication. "Political communication does not take place at the last minute. You have to engage in political communication over a period of time. I think the Congress has been hurt by that." On opposition attacks against the Government on corruption issues, he admitted that 2G, Commonwealth Games and other scandals certainly hurt the Congress prospects. "I always believed that one of the foundations of politics is communication and communication from the very top...by the 'sherpas' alone. So, political communication is very, very important but unfortunately we were found lacking," Ramesh told PTI here.

"The BJP mounted an aggressive campaign thanks to CAG and hyperactive judiciary; civil society jumped on to the bandwagon and I think for a period we (Congress) did not show the type of aggression we should have shown," he said. Ramesh also slammed former UPA ally DMK by calling it "ungrateful" and dubbed its then minister T R Baalu as an "unmitigating disaster". As for the 2014 elections, Ramesh said he was "somewhat disappointed" with the attitude of the DMK. The southern party did not have an alliance with the Congress in the just concluded polls in Tamil Nadu.

"DMK got a lot out of the Congress. Earlier, DMK government could not have survived and lasted five years without the support of the Congress. The DMK got the portfolios it wanted (in the UPA) and pretty much behaved in the manner they wanted," he said. "I think the DMK could have been a little more aware of the debt that it owes to the Congress. I think it was unfortunate what it did for the Congress and considering the tremendous regard and respect that Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi has for Mr (M) Karunanidhi, I think DMK were ungrateful," Ramesh said.

Asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should have firmly put his foot down vis-a-vis allocation of portfolios for DMK - which was part of UPA-I and till March last year of UPA-II when they quit on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils - nominees, he said there are compulsions of alliance politics and he (Ramesh) was not privy to what the discussions were. "But I can tell you Baalu was unmitigating disaster as a Minister for Surface Transport and as a Minister for Environment and Forests," he said, and noted the controversies surrounding Raja and Dayanidhi Maran are "facts that are in the public domain." 


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