The Telegraph
Monday , February 3 , 2014
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Heading UPA II unwise: Dwivedi

New Delhi, Feb. 2 (PTI): A senior Congress leader has questioned whether it was prudent for the party to have headed the UPA II government after the 2009 polls.

Although Janardan Dwivedi admits that alliances are a compulsion, the Congress general secretary feels that the party should have sat in the Opposition after the last general election so that it could be in a position to form a government on its own after the coming polls.

“It would have been better that in 2009 after getting more support from the people than in 2004, the Congress should have called it quits so that someone else could have formed the government. Congress could have played the role of a healthy Opposition,” Dwivedi said in an interview.

His views assume significance at a time the Congress is grappling with the issue of alliances and the government headed by it is facing 10-year-old anti-incumbency and strong corruption charges.

“You cannot start a new experiment till you end the previous one. Since we did not close that chapter in 2009, we are pursuing the same path right now to face the challenges ahead,” said Dwivedi.

He prefaced his remarks by saying that in the 2009 polls the Congress had sought the mandate of the people for a party government and not for the UPA II, which it did not get though its tally of seats saw a sharp rise.

Dwivedi regretted that “perhaps no major political party now has the patience as well as the self-confidence to discharge the role of an Opposition readily, face challenges, struggle for people’s cause and then come back with a new shine and mandate to form a government”.

He said instead of developing “natural leadership”, emphasis was being laid on promoting “technical leadership”.