Mumbai: Congress needs to learn the art of story-telling as it is gearing up to take on the BJP in the 2019 general election, senior party leader Salman Khurshid said on Monday, flagging a gap in the party's effort to communicate effectively its message to the people.
Speaking at a panel discussion and launch of his book "Spectrum Politics" in Mumbai, the former law minister also said that the minorities "got carried away" in assuming that there were better alternatives to the Congress.
"There was none," he said, and called for working towards a strategy so that the party's "honest and truthful" commitment to the minorities is not "misused" by the RSS-BJP, who have often accused the Congress of appeasement of Muslims.
"We have really remarkable, talented people (in the Congress) who can use instruments of communication, on which perhaps we didn't do as effective a job as others could have done," Mr Khurshid said at the event organised by the All India Professionals' Congress.
"Politics is about a lot of things. But it is also essentially about story-telling. And story-telling is something that we have to learn," he added.
To a question, Mr Khurshid, without naming any party, said that "Islam was being vilified with a political objective", and there was a "big responsibility" on minorities, "particularly Muslims", in view of the next elections.
"They have been an enormous strength for the Congress since Independence...But they did get carried away, in a sense...we may have made some mistakes, (we may have) some inadequacies. But they got carried away in assuming that there were better alternatives to the Congress. Despite our shortcomings and failures, there was no better alternative," he said.
Mr Khurshid, also a former External Affairs Minister, criticised the Modi government's foreign policy.
"To deal with Pakistan, there is a need to understand Pakistan...There is a need to understand many elements related with Pakistan and then deal with it. It has to be a clear, patient and painstaking effort," he added.
Mr Khurshid's book deals with the 2G spectrum scam which came to light during the tenure of the UPA, and the politics surrounding it.
The event was also attended by Sudheendra Kulkarni, journalist and former aide to BJP stalwarts Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani.