News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

After saying Narendra Modi can only sell tea, Mani Shankar Aiyar now feels PM can't be defeated single-handedly

Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar, in January 2014, had mocked Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial ambitions.

After saying Narendra Modi can only sell tea, Mani Shankar Aiyar now feels PM can't be defeated single-handedly

New Delhi: Former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday said the Congress should form a grand alliance to ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party's defeat in the 2019 General Elections.

Notably, it was Congress veteran Aiyar, who in January 2014, had mocked Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial ambitions.

“I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. …But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him,” Aiyar had said at the venue of the AICC meeting in New Delhi.

However, the tables have turned and Modi has gone from strength to strength since winning the Lok Sabha Elections and becoming the Prime Minister.

Talking to news agency ANI, Aiyar today said: "The party needs to rethink its strategies and restructure the organisation to stay in the political arena. We need to form an inclusive alliance instead of an inclusive party. The inability to nurture strong regional leaders has been our biggest failure leading to a string of electoral defeats.”

Asserting that nobody can take the place of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Aiyar laid emphasis on inclusion of young leaders in the party.

"Only a fool will say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be defeated single-handedly," he added.

The Congress leader further said the favourable result in Punjab shows that strong regional leaders can make a difference to the party`s fortunes.

The BJP`s dominant show in Assembly polls has put a big question mark over the political fate of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections.

Riding high on Prime Minister Modi`s growing popularity, the BJP won 325 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections.

Despite emerging as the single largest party in Goa and Manipur, the Congress failed to move in quickly to cobble together alliances with smaller parties to capture power.

The BJP formed the government in both Goa and Manipur despite ending up second behind the Congress.

(With ANI inputs)