`Lessons in defeats'

Published : Mar 23, 2007 00:00 IST

Motilal Vora, AICC treasurer.-V. SUDERSHAN

Motilal Vora, AICC treasurer.-V. SUDERSHAN

Interview with Motilal Vora.

VETERAN Congress leader Motilal Vora believes that the party's electoral defeats in Punajb and Uttarakhand are not really setbacks, because important lessons can be learnt from them for the battles lying ahead. Excerpts from an interview he gave Frontline:

Uttarakhand and Punjab were States where the governments were seen to be performing well. What went wrong?

We tried our best but unfortunately the people's verdict went against us. We accept it with humility and will do a detailed analysis to find out what actually went wrong.

The Congress president has cited rising prices as a factor. Is this not a reflection on the government's economic policies?

When Soniaji has said something about it, that is the last word on this subject. But this is no reflection either on the Central government's policies or on the leadership of Soniaji. In State elections various local factors are also at work, which may have combined with the issue of rising prices. In any case, the BJP made price rise a big issue and that seems to have worked.

Does that not mean your development agenda was defeated by the BJP's bogey of high prices?

People have seen the development work that we did in these two States. Employment opportunities too were generated. Our work was appreciated, so we really need to find out in detail what went against us by talking to the defeated candidates and our workers in the field. Only then we will know what actually happened.

In Uttarakhand and Punjab, intra-party rivalry and groupism were big problems. In fact, there seemed to be a communication gap between the government and the party.

In a democratic organisation everyone has the right to express his views. That does not mean there was groupism or a communication gap.

What do you think will be the impact of the Congress' defeats on national politics? Will the coalition partners or the Left parties now exert more pressure on you?

This will have no national impact. In fact, our experience there will teach us some lessons so that we are better prepared to face the other elections. As far as our partners are concerned, there is no pressure from any quarter. The coalition government is running successfully and will continue to do so for the rest of the term.

What lessons have you learnt from this experience?

That we need to put in more effort. Whatever we have done so far is obviously not enough.

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