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party: ‘Congress failed to reinvent despite decline’: Ashwani Kumar quits grand old party, hits out at leadership | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: NEW DELHI: Former Union law minister Ashwani Kumar on Tuesday resigned from the Congress, thereby ending a a 46-year-long association with the party.
In a no-holds-barred interview, the 69-year-old hit out at the leadership of the grand old party and said that it had lost touch with the ground reality and no longer reflected the national mood.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
‘Congress lacks inspirational leadership’
The former MP from Punjab said he had reached his limits of perseverance in the party, which, he said, lacked inspirational leadership and is facing an existential challenge. The absence of a sense of belonging and debilitating processes of internal functioning combined to make possible a painful decision to end this association.
He further added that the party has failed to reinvent itself despite unmistakable signs of decline over the years. I do not wish to criticise any individual but failings of those responsible cannot be brushed aside,”.
He also accused the party of failing to reinvent itself despite its decline. Expressing anguish over recent controversies over Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’ statue at India Gate and Padma Bhushan award to senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kumar said these events betrayed a narrowness of approach not expected of the Congress.
He further said that the Congress should look inwards instead of finding fault with those quitting it.
‘Regional parties can’t challenge BJP’
“Regional parties have caught the imagination of the people, particularly of the youth. Congress is virtually a three states party now. Regional parties could come together at a future date on the basis of a minimum common programme but none of them can individually challenge the BJP’s dominant political position in the country. Ideological battles need transformative leadership that can rise above individual vanities and aspirations,” he said.
On Amarinder Singh
The manner in which Captian Amarinder Singh was humiliated and forced to resign was an ominous signal and he deserved better, he said. The dismal state of Punjab’s economy demands consensual politics and shunning of narrow personal prejudices, he added.
On Punjab elections
“Election results in Punjab will surprise many. Based on the groundswell of popular support, I feel that AAP will comfortably form the next government in Punjab and Bhagwant Mann will be the state’s next chief minister. Punjab is ready for a sensational political change,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Kumar had sent his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The letter read that Kumar can “best subserve larger national causes outside the Party-fold”. He wrote that he “hopes to proactively pursue public causes inspired by the idea of transformative leadership, based on dignitarian promise of a liberal democracy envisioned by our freedom fighters”.
“While paying my respectful regards, I thank you for the consideration extended to me in the past and wish you good health in the years ahead,” Kumar’s letter also read.
(With inputs from PTI)

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