December 14, 2019
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"Secularism Sounds Hollow"

Madhavrao Scindia says the Congress is set to revive, but all depends on the national leaders. Excerpts from an interview:

"Secularism Sounds Hollow"
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You've just toured Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, states in your charge. What's the feedback?

It was a first assessment...I met senior party leaders and workers. They are upbeat, enthusiastic. Conditions are right for the revival of the Congress. If we don't pull it off, the fault will lie with us, the central leaders.

But isn't there a lot of infighting in these and other states?

Yes, that is inevitable in a democracy. Which party does not suffer from infighting?

Congress leaders appear divided on pre-poll alliances.

For the moment, I don't think we should talk about alliances...so there's no confusion in the minds of the workers. Alliances will be worked out on the eve of elections. The Congress president will decide.

Will the Jain Commission report snowball into a big issue?

We will not allow any attempt to suppress facts. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, let's see what happens.

You have repeatedly talked about apologising for Babri Masjid. But how does the Congress plan on winning back the minorities?

The demolition of Babri Masjid was a national tragedy. There was a Congress government at the time and we couldn't prevent it. We should own up to that. All of us should.... Let me now say, secularism has taken on a hollow tone. Minorities dismiss it as just talk. The Congress must give it more body. We must take steps to further the interests of minorities and be seen to be doing so.

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