Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has backed Congress leader Jairam Ramesh's call for the Congress party to take steps against groups such as PFI. Ramesh said that he was worried that the party was soft on minority communalism.
Speaking to Republic TV on Thursday, Swamy said, "If the Congress party claims to be the party that led the country to freedom in the 40s, then it must take an equally harsh stand against Islamic groups like the PFI. I don't know if people in the party will listen to what Jairam Ramesh says and will he back off if gets a phone call from 10, Janpath. So far, the point he has made is valid and is well taken. If he sticks with it then the country should appreciate what he is doing."
Earlier, Ramesh was speaking at the Krithi International Book Fair in Kochi and had said, "the Congress party should discover the same degree of aggression against minority communalism and outfits like PFI. They should be targeted the same way as we target RSS. We have to fight RSS type of communalism, BJP type of communalism as also PFI and Jamaat-e-Islami type of communalism. We cannot be selective, we have to be upfront, bold, and say minority communalism is dangerous to India as majority communalism."
The former union minister also suggested that the party "ruthlessly" reinvent itself or face the prospect of becoming irrelevant. Senior leader Veerappa Moily too has called for a "surgical" action to revive the party in the context of the Delhi election drubbing.
In an interview to PTI, Ramesh said: "Congress leaders have to reinvent themselves. Congress party has to reinvent itself if it has to be relevant. Otherwise, we are staring at irrelevance. Our arrogance has to go, even after six years out of power sometimes, some of us behave as if we are still ministers," he said.
Asked about the leadership issue in the party, he said local level leaders have to be encouraged and nurtured. They have to be given freedom and autonomy, he added.
"The substance and style of our leaders have to change. We are virtually non-existent in Bihar, We are almost extinct in UP but we are strong in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Haryana we have come back," Ramesh said.
The Congress party failed to win a single seat in the recently concluded Delhi elections, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) winning 62 seats and the BJP winning the remaining eight seats of the 70-member assembly.