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Kidwai regrets being part of ‘Tiwari Congress’ faction

New Delhi, Oct 9 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai said it was her mistake to be part of the “Tiwari Congress” faction that broke away from the party in revolt against the then prime minister and party president PV Narasimha Rao.

She said so in her autobiography titled ‘My Life in Indian Politics’, 27 years after the rebellion in the national party.

Kidwai, who was very close to former prime minister Indira Gandhi, also lamented that she believed Makhan Lal Fotedar – a senior leader who was deemed to be close to the Gandhi family – and took the decision without thinking it through.

The veteran leader’s disclosure comes at a time when the Indian National Congress (INC) is trying to recover from its worst phase with the election of its new president in the next few days.

Kidwai wrote that when Arjun Singh, Natwar Singh and other leaders revolted against Narasimha Rao in 1995, Fotedar had come to meet her before the Talkatora session of the party, claiming that Sonia Gandhi was unhappy with “Rao Sahib” and wants her (Kidwai) to support the rebel faction.

She mentioned that during that period she was embroiled in domestic matters due to her brother’s poor health.

The 90-year-old leader said she trusted Fotedar and later regretted that she did not personally ask Gandhi about the matter, adding that today when she looks back, she feels she should not have joined the rebel faction.

She said if she along with other senior leaders had fought for the important issues while remaining in the party, then perhaps the future politics would have been better and brighter for the Congress.

Kidwai said Gandhi never made any public comments about what happened in 1995, and after becoming the Congress president in 1998, she ensured that whatever factions had split up earlier join back the party.

Even before becoming the president, Gandhi had ensured a respectful return of the ‘Tiwari Congress’ faction as well as of groups that were being led by Madhavrao Scindia and former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa.

Before Gandhi, Sitaram Kesari was the party president.

Kidwai said as the head, Gandhi gave importance and respect to all those who had left the party during Narasimha Rao’s tenure. Besides, she did not ignore or sideline those who actively supported Rao.

She treated everyone equally, which was not an easy task, she added.

After the assassination of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rao became PM and Congress president.

At that time, there were half a dozen INC contenders, including Arjun Singh, Sharad Pawar, Dr Shankardayal Sharma and Madhavrao Scindia for the post of prime minister of the country.

The current party chief Sonia Gandhi was not formally active in politics in those days. PTI BNS RDT

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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