New Delhi: Taking a swipe at his own party, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said one has to be a part of the ‘circus’ that goes on at the Congress committee office to be a part of the party.
Aiyar was reported as saying: "We all are there and a kind of fair is held at the 24, Akbar Road and if you want to be a part of the Congress, then you will have to join that circus, then only you can be a part of it. Sometime you achieve success and sometime you may fail but you always keep faith that one or the other day, you will definitely achieve something."
He was speaking at the release of Rashid Kidwai`s book `24 Akbar Road` on Sunday.
Aiyar said unlike other parties, which are based on caste, position, state, language or society, Congress has people who hold different viewpoints and live harmoniously with faith in variety.
"This is a party where people of different opinion can live harmoniously but from that, there is one base point on which they always stand and it is that we have faith in variety and we celebrate variety. We feel very happy if we have various varieties of people between us and this is a truth about our party other parties are formed based either on caste, position, state, language or society. But Congress is one party, which is the mirror of the country," said Aiyar.
Narasimha Rao to be blamed for Babri demolition
Aiyar also blamed former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid, as the act occurred when he was in office and said that Rao had a conflict with Congress party over secularism.
"He (Narasimha Rao) was the one who was responsible for what happened in the Babri Masjid, he 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 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? An inclusive nation? Or are we any new nation?" he added.
He said that years ago during his Ram Rahim yatra (rally) Rao had told Aiyar that he did not understand his definition of secularism, as the former Prime Minister believed that India was a Hindu country.
Congress a dharamshala
He further compared the Indian National Congress was a shelter, wherein people could walk in and out as per their wishes but is proud of its diversity.
"The Congress has always been a `dharamshala` (shelter) wherein many people can come, stay, get up, go and then come back again. So it is such a party, which had Indian freedom fighters Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malviya and Jawaharlal Nehru as well. It such a party that had Purushottam Das Tandon in Uttar Pradesh and Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi. It is such a party in which people of different opinion can live harmoniously," he said.
Talking about the new economic policies, Aiyar said the pattern of economic policies has resulted in country`s position to remain at 134 from the last 17 years in United Nations Human Development Index.
"This economic growth pattern has resulted in India`s position on the UN Human Development Index which was 134 in 1994, 17 years later, being in 2011, exactly there 134," he said.
"The Congress party has wrestled with the question of the new economic policy in such a manner that those who have serious reservations about it, people like me, are marginalized. The party as a whole is behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” he added.