Rahul’s hit-and-run politics won’t work, says SM Krishna after joining BJP
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Rahul’s hit-and-run politics won’t work, says SM Krishna after joining BJP

Former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, who joined BJP after 46 years as a Congress man, says Rahul Gandhi’s hit-and-run politics won’t work.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2017 07:28 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
SM Krishna,Former Karnataka CM Krishna,SM Krishna joins BJP
BJP President Amit Shah with former Congress leader and Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna who joined the saffron party in New Delhi on March 22. 2017.(PTI)

Veteran Congress leader SM Krishna resigned from the Congress in January taking potshots at the party for being in a “state of confusion” and joined the BJP on Wednesday, almost a year before the assembly election in Karnataka.

The 84-year-old leader was associated with the Congress for 46 years and served as the chief minister of Karnataka, governor of Maharashtra and external affairs minister.

“As long as Sonia Gandhi was in the saddle, I was very comfortable in the Congress party. But for the past three years leaders like me were made to feel unwanted. Dynastic politics without giving any importance to competence is the bane of Congress party,” Krishna told Hindustan Times in a free-wheeling interview.

Here are the excerpts:

What is wrong with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s style of functioning?

“Politics is a serious business. It is not a hit-and-run job nor is it a part-time job,” said Krishna without taking Rahul’s name .

You were a close confidante of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in the party which has had dynastic succession for years.

“That’s what I am saying, dynastic succession without competence cannot last. I was among the many Congress leaders who requested Rajiv Gandhi to take charge of the party after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Rajiv was competent. He was an eloquent speaker, connected so well with people. It was only later in his tenure as the Prime Minister, he couldn’t handle things.”

Did you or other senior leaders raise these issues with Rahul Gandhi?

“Where is the opportunity for that? So I stayed away from making suggestions for long. But look at the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working and the BJP president is working. They are very focussed and hard working.”

Many senior Congress leaders blame you for leaving the party after getting many positions.

“That is not the way to look at it. I have also contributed to the growth of Congress party in the state. I was the chief minister of the state from 1999 to 2004. In 1999, Congress had no chance whatsoever to form a government in the state.”

You said he were drawn to the BJP after Modi’s commitment to the nation and his ‘zero tolerance’ towards corruption policy. But does the choice of Yogi Adityanath make you flinch about the way your new party works?

“Not at all. I have been reading about him of late and I am quite impressed with his ideas about environment protection, animal welfare and so on.”

First Published: Mar 23, 2017 16:09 IST