Congress ignores Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comments


New Delhi : A day after former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar compared the people coming to the Congress party office to those coming to a “circus” and blamed former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao for demolition of the Babri Mosque, the Congress chose not to respond to his comments.

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“You are seeing Congress party for many years. You know Mr Aiyar very well,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said to questions about Aiyar’s remarks at a book release function Sunday.

Aiyar had said that only those who had lost all hope go to 24, Akbar Road (the party headquarters) as the powerful in the party have access to 10, Janpath (residence of party president Sonia Gandhi), or 23, Willingdon Crescent (address of Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel).

Aiyar also said that a kind of fair is held at the 24, Akbar road and if one wants to be a part of the Congress, then one will have to join that “circus”. He said sometimes one achieves success and sometimes one may fail, but there is always faith about achieving something.

Aiyar said unlike other parties, which are based on caste, position, state, language or society, the Congress was a party where people of different opinions can live harmoniously.

He said the partymen celebrate variety.

Aiyar also said that Rao was to be blamed for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Mosque.

“He (Narasimha Rao) was the one who was responsible for what happened in the Babri Masjid…It was the biggest disaster that overtook this country because the rift valley in 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?” Aiyar said.

Talking about the economic policies, Aiyar said the Congress has wrestled with the question of the new economic policy in such a manner that people like him, who have serious reservations, are marginalised.

He said the party as a whole is behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Aiyar said the economic growth pattern has resulted in the country’s position to remain at 134 from the last 17 years in United Nations Human Development Index.