New Delhi: Congress leaders Abhishek Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor come out in support of party colleague Jairam Ramesh on Friday, saying "demonising" Narendra Modi was "wrong" and the prime minister should be praised for doing the right things.
While Singhvi said Modi's acts must be judged "issue-wise, not person-wise", Tharoor said praising the prime minister for doing the right things would lend credibility to the opposition's criticism of him.
"Always said demonising Modi wrong. No only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad & indifferent they must be judged issue wise and nt person wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds (sic)," Singhvi tweeted echoing Ramesh's views.
Tharoor also joined him saying, "As you know, I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time."
Asked at the AICC briefing about the Congress leaders' comments that Modi should be praised for doing the right things, party spokesperson Manish Tewari skirted the question, saying it should be posed to these leaders. "Insofar as the comments made by various people, whom you have referred to, are concerned, they are in the best position to clarify or amplify or retract or subtract their remarks.
"As far as the Congress Party is concerned, we believe that there is a serious economic crisis in the country. The crisis is impacting the employment situation and we are extremely concerned and worried about it," Tewari told reporters.
PTI had reported that at a book launch on Wednesday, former Union minister Ramesh had said Modi's governance model was "not a complete negative story" and added that not recognising his work and "demonising" him all the time was not going to help.
"It is time we recognize Modi's work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 per cent of the electorate," Ramesh had said. He had also cited how successful the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) had turned out to be for the prime minister.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee also agreed with Singhvi saying, "Very true sir. Nation building is an ongoing process carried on by successive governments. Hope Modi and team also realise this."
"Instead of trying to diminish Pandit Nehru they should accept his and the Congress' immense contribution and carry it forward. Criticisms should be on policies, not personalities," she said.
Countering Ramesh, former Union minister and Congress veteran K K Tewary said some "self-propagating" leaders in the Congress have "hijacked" the party and were making all kinds of comments that were not in the interest of the party. "Some self-propagating leaders in the party, who never fight elections and find a sanctuary in the Rajya Sabha have hijacked the party," he said. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 37.4 per cent of votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha.