January 29, 2017 12:53:57 pm
Former external affairs minister and Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, who has resigned from the Congress after a five-decade association, said “the party doesn’t need mass leaders these days but only managers who can handle a situation”. The veteran leader’s jibe at the Congress, reported by ANI, came during a brief press briefing that he addressed on Sunday to announce his resignation from the party’s primary membership. Krishna, 85, who has also served as Maharashtra Governor, has been miffed over his sidelining in the party apparently over his growing age. He has hardly been playing any role in poll campaigns and party affairs after his tenure as external affairs minister ended in 2012
On Sunday, he said, “Age is a state of mind and shouldn’t be a criteria for deciding what the situation needs. What pained me was how Congress sidelined a loyal worker and cited my age for sidelining me.” Krishna, who belongs to the dominant Vokkaliga community in Karnataka, said he was yet to decide on the next step but confirmed he had no plans to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, he made it clear that he was not retiring from active politics adding “the word retirement is not in my dictionary.”
He said: “This is a decision which I have taken without consulting anyone except my wife. What my next step will be, I will have to ponder, contemplate, introspect and look around and take a decision.”
Noting that the Congress had given “everything” to him, Krishna said, “I have seen both good and bad and tasted
sweetness and bitterness but my loyalty to the party has always been steadfast. “But it now seems the Congress is in a confusion whether it needs mass leaders or not. Just managing the situation seems to be good enough,” he said.
Krishna said Congress President Sonia Gandhi had given him “special respect.” Asked about the respect shown by Rahul Gandhi, he shot back, “I will not speak about Vice-President. I will speak about President.” To a question if he felt Rahul Gandhi was inefficient and a leadership change was needed, Krishna said, “being a national party, we look to the president not to Vice-President, general secretary and some others… Given my seniority in the party, at this stage, I should look to the President, not to others.”
Asked if he would reconsider his decision to quit Congress if Sonia Gandhi makes a request, he said he would not do it. “It is a question of self-respect and pride.” Krishna dismissed a question if he was an aspirant for the post of country’s Vice-President and whether he would meet BJP leaders, saying, “do you think I have gone crazy.”
Asked if he was not deserting the Congress at a time when it was facing severe challenges, he said, “I am not ditching the party. I am quitting the party. I have struggled for the party for 46 years.”
“What will happen. What will not happen. You (media) will have to analyse it,” Krishna said, when asked would not his exit from the Congress benefit BJP, which is hoping to come back to power in the 2018 Assembly polls in the state.
Meanwhile, State Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “There is nothing to be read into the decision. He has been inactive from politics for a while. He wants to move away from politics.”
With PTI Inputs
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