Sonia Gandhi On Difference Between PM Modi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Democracy allows dissent and debate and not monologues, she added in an apparent dig at PM Modi.

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Sonia Gandhi On Difference Between PM Modi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Sonia Gandhi was also self-critical as she assessed her own leadership.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Sonia Gandhi confessed that she "knew her limitations" as a leader
  2. Sonia Gandhi: Vajpayee had great respect for parliamentary procedure
  3. Sonia Gandhi: Was India really a giant black hole before 26 May 2014?
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi confessed that she "knew her limitations" as a leader and was not a natural at public speaking, in a candid speech at the India Today conclave today. Speaking her mind on wide-ranging subjects, she commented that the difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was that "Vajpayee had great respect for parliamentary procedure."

Democracy allows dissent and debate and not monologues, she added in an apparent dig at PM Modi. "The present situation is such that there is no accommodative spirit... It is our right, it is right of opposition. We worked very well when Prime Minister Vajpayee was there," she said, responding to a question.

She also hit out at the Modi government for attacking Congress policies. "Was India really a giant black hole before 26 May 2014? Did India march to progress, prosperity and greatness just four years ago? Is this claim not an insult to the intelligence of our people?"

Asked about her views on PM Modi as a person, Sonia Gandhi said: "I don't know him. I don't know the person. We see him in Parliament or occasionally at functions but I can't say I know him."

She was self-critical as she assessed her own leadership after the Congress came to power in 2004.

"I knew Manmohan Singh would be a better PM than me, I knew my limitations," said the 71-year-old, who refused to take the top post when Congress leaders tearfully and passionately begged her to do so in 2004.

"Public speaking does not come naturally to me, that is why I was called a reader than a leader," she remarked.

Sonia Gandhi was Congress president for 19 years before she handed charge to son and deputy Rahul Gandhi in December.

She noted that the Congress needs to develop a new style of connecting with people at the organisational level.

Speaking on her party's defeat in a series of elections beginning with the 2014 national polls that saw the BJP taking power, Sonia Gandhi said: "We were out-marketed. We have to really develop a new style of connecting with people. We have to look how we project our programs and policies."

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