The Congress Monday asserted it is a united and democratic party, and allows its to leaders express their views openly, rejecting BJP barbs and criticism by former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The assertion came after the BJP took a jibe at it and former Congress leader Azad stated the party should undertake "Congress jodo" before "Bharat Jodo".
Asked about the BJP swipes, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the party is strong and united. "Those who are disgruntled in the Congress, they keep giving statements. But I think the party is united today. Yesterday the rally was very successful and every worker is committed, there is excitement, energy and our sole aim is to undertake the Bharat Jodo Yatra," Ramesh told reporters.
"The Congress is a big family and there are people of different views. We are a democratic party, people air their views openly -- some write letters, some tweet, some give an interview -- and this shows democracy. There is no dictatorship in our party, we don't silence anyone," Ramesh said.
He said efforts are made to assuage concerns of leaders "but some people leave despite that, hurling abuses". "I don't want to say anything about them, I have already spoken about them," he said in an apparent reference to Azad. "But to say that 'Congress jodo' should be our priority, that is wrong, for us the priority is to unite the country," he asserted.