Congress party is like a circus: Mani Shankar Aiyar
The Congress party is like a circus and every party member has to join it in an attempt to seek a greener pasture.
This candid observation by former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had the audience at a book release function in New Delhi in splits.
"Those who have got their work done visit 10, Janpath, while those with some hope of getting their work done visit 23, Willingdon Crescent," he said, referring to the residences of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her political secretary Ahmed Patel respectively.
Image: Manishankar Aiyar
'Congress party is like a circus'
"Those who have lost all their hope and are dejected come to 24, Akbar Road," Aiyar said in an obvious reference to the Congress headquarters in the capital.
"Such people who have lost hope come here with the belief that meeting up people who have a table and a chair (a party post) would help them, but little do they know that of the 10 people sitting inside, five are trying to reach some higher post themselves while five others are in a downward spiral," he said.
'Every Congressman has to join this circus'
"Some times people taste success, sometimes they fail. This is kind of a fair and every Congressman has to join this circus," Aiyar said.
However, Aiyar's comments did not go down well with some Congressmen like Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who sought to know whether Aiyar was a "clown" in the circus.
At the All India Congress Committee briefing, party spokesman Manish Tewari made light of Aiyar's remark.
"You are all seasoned journalists. You know what is what," he said.
Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi
'Narasimha Rao was responsible for Babri Masjid demolition'
Aiyar also blamed the then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
"On Narsimha Rao, we have a very CNN-blinkered view of him. True, he started something known as economic reforms for good or for ill, but he was the one responsible for what happened at the Babri Masjid," Aiyar said.
The late Rao was the prime minister when the Babri mosque at Ayodhya was demolished by a mob on December 6, 1992.
"He (Rao) proved that death is not a necessary pre-condition for rigor mortis to set in. It was the biggest disaster that overtook this country because the rift in our politics is not between right wing economic policies and left wing economic policies, it is over the nature of our nationhood. Are we a secular nation? An inclusive nation? Or are we a Hindu nation?" Aiyar added.
Image: Former PM Narasimha Rao