“Congress is paying a huge price for coalition. There is growing public awareness about the fact that single party governments work better,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan at the release of 24, Akbar Road — a book by senior journalist Rasheed Kidwai — on Saturday.
The book chronicles the growth of the Congress party. Chavan, who worked as Congress national general secretary from the party’s New Delhi office at 24, Akbar Road, said that the party’s main challenges — scams and corruption charges — were due to their coalition partners.
“It is difficult for a Prime Minister to advise a coalition partner on which portfolio should be given to which elected representative,” said Chavan, recounting his six-year tenure as a minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Senior journalists Kumar Ketkar and Arnab Goswami and film-maker Mahesh Bhatt too participated in the panel discussion. “Congress is an institution and it belongs to people. The middle class should be wary of the impending dangers of a country being ruled by apolitical classes,” said Ketkar.
In response to Bhatt’s question that could the party give its best in the wake of scams, Chavan said: “Congress is battling forces that threaten to stabilise the core of Indian democracy. Some people are influencing [the masses] without being accountable. It is a battle of perception. The party will overcome the challenges.”