‘Even po­lit­i­cal par­ties must have democ­racy’

Modi takes veiled dig at re­ports of Rahul tak­ing over Cong reins from his mother

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE @ New Delhi

PRIME Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Satur­day called for a dis­cus­sion on in­ter­nal democ­racy within po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Though he made no ref­er­ence to any spe­cific party, his com­ments come against the back­drop of re­ports that the Congress may el­e­vate its vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi as pres­i­dent in place of his mother So­nia Gandhi.

“Whether demo­cratic val­ues are a part of their (par­ties’) core val­ues or not should be de­bated widely.... I be­lieve that the de­vel­op­ment of a true demo­cratic spirit within po­lit­i­cal par­ties is nec­es­sary not only for the coun­try’s fu­ture but also for democ­racy,” he said.

Speak­ing at the an­nual Di­wali Milan func­tion at the BJP head­quar­ters, Modi claimed that the coun­try is not fa­mil­iar with democ­racy within po­lit­i­cal par­ties. “Be­sides or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture, val­ues and ide­olo­gies cham­pi­oned by po­lit­i­cal par­ties should be de­bated along with their short­com­ings. It should also be seen if the wave­length of party work­ers at the bot­tom of the hi­er­ar­chy matches with that of those at the top,” Modi noted.

BJP chief Amit Shah has on oc­ca­sions claimed that he be­gan his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as a small-time worker who had been a booth in-charge but rose to oc­cupy the top post be­cause of in­ter­nal democ­racy in the party.

The Congress is re­port­edly con­clud­ing or­gan­i­sa­tional elections and would come to a con­clu­sion on the post of party pres­i­dent. BJP lead­ers claim the Prime Min­is­ter’s com­ments were in the con­text of the top post not be­ing avail­able to party work­ers out­side the fam­ily con­trol­ling lead­er­ship.

Be­sides the Congress, a num­ber of re­gional po­lit­i­cal out­fits, in­clud­ing the Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) , Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Na­tional Con­fer­ence and the DMK, have seen dy­nas­ties con­trol­ling lead­er­ship.

De­vel­op­ment of a true demo­cratic spirit within po­lit­i­cal par­ties is nec­es­sary not only for the coun­try’s fu­ture but also for democ­racy Naren­dra Modi, Prime Min­is­ter

SHEKHAR YA­DAV

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi ar­rives for the Di­wali Milan pro­gramme at the BJP head­quar­ters in New Delhi on Satur­day |

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