This Article is From Feb 15, 2015

Delhi Election Results: Solutions Do Not Lie in 'One Person,' Says Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh

Former environment minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

New Delhi:

The verdict in Delhi assembly elections is a wake-up call for the Congress, but the "solutions do not lie in one person", former Union minister Jairam Ramesh has said regarding the call for a leadership role for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the party.

Following the Congress' abysmal performance despite three consecutive terms, party workers had coined the slogan of "Priyanka lao, Congress Bachao (Save Congress, bring in Priyanka)". Asked if he would like to see her in the driving seat, Mr Ramesh said, "Solutions do not lie in one person. We need to stop cutting each other down."

"Our expectations from Delhi were not grandiose. The knock on the BJP in Delhi was worse than it was for the Congress," Mr Ramesh further said. "It was a complete demolition for the BJP and effectively a referendum on PM Modi and BJP party president Amit Shah."

The former minister was speaking exclusively to NDTV before the launch of his new book 'Green Signals', which records his 25-month tenure in the environment ministry between 2009 and 2011.

Demands about bringing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the forefront of Congress politics have been raised in the past as well. She, however, has dismissed speculations on the matter.

Mr Ramesh, who had taken charge of the environment ministry, said he had been tasked with bringing in greater transparency in the ministry's functioning.

The senior Congress leader, however, refused to answer questions related to the recent allegations by his successor Jayanthi Natrajan about being given specific directions on several projects, including denying mining permission in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha.

"You will have to ask her about that. I can say that during my tenure, I never received any direction from Sonia or Rahul Gandhi on how to run the ministry," Mr Ramesh said.