The former Union Minister, Ashwani Kumar, on Friday criticised the BJP-led Union government and the Sangh Parivar for “encouraging doublespeak” on core issues.
Mr. Kumar, who was here on a private visit, told The Hindu that “while Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks of a strong India and carrying everybody together, every important member of this government or the Sangh Parivar says something contrary. The nation does not know who to believe.”
Elaborating, the former Union Minister contrasted the observations of Mr. Modi on his visit to Japan and the United States on nuclear energy with those of an RSS functionary who demanded that the nuclear doctrine be revisited.
“We know there is a consistent pattern in encouraging doublespeak so as to confuse people as to where the Sangh organisations stand and where the government stands. But, we know the government speaks the voice of the Sangh Parivar.”
Contending that the Congress had been warning the nation against the “divisive agenda” of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, he claimed that “we seem to be vindicated with reference to the events that have unfolded in the last few months, whether it is completely reprehensible language used by Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti or statements emanating from other leaders of the Sangh Parivar.”
On the factors that contributed to the defeat of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Kumar said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance could not sell its achievements through a “winnable communication strategy” whereas the mood of the moment was to see, as presented by Mr. Modi, a “change in favour of decisive governance.”
He felt that the Congress was in need of a set of leaders who would be able to “connect” with the people on fundamental issues that transcend partisan appeal and touch their hearts.
He rejected the contention that the Congress leadership had become withdrawn following the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. He said that in the current round of elections in different States, the party’s approach was to “fight as best as we can.” He added that the party was determined to become again the fulcrum of the secular and progressive forces.