Without Sonia, Congress won't last 24 hours: Natwar Singh

Kolkata, Sept 5: Observing that dynasty politics was "not healthy" but existed across the country, former Congress leader Natwar Singh said the party will disintegrate in 24 hours if Sonia Gandhi quits.

"Dynasty politics, you can call it an epidemic and it exists across India. You have the Badals in Punjab, in Uttar Pradesh whole of Mulayam Singh's family is in politics and in down south, you have the M. Karunanidhi family. Though it's not healthy but it exists, that's the reality," he said during the launch of his autobiography "One Life is not Enough" here.

"It's a fact that Congress has now come down to 44 seats, but if Sonia and Rahul Gandhi withdraw, then it will not even manage four seats because there will be no agreement among its leaders.

"The reputation of the family has gone down but if Sonia is to withdraw, the Congress will disintegrate within 24 hours," he said.

Natwar Singh also described the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II government as a "disaster".

"It was a disaster mostly because of the scams and I feel the prime minister should have put his foot down saying this is all wrong. But he didn't and in the end his reputation suffered," he said.

The veteran diplomat also expressed his anguish over the disruptions in parliament and said despite over six decades of Independence, India has been a failure in the field of education, health and judiciary.

"It's a shame that it takes over two decades for a civil suit to be decided or people have to bribe to get a hospital bed. When 95 percent of China, Vietnam or even Sri Lanka is educated, only 70 percent of Indians can be called literate," he added.


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