Congress leader P Chidambaram Friday said the "lesson" from the Kamraj plan, under which senior ministers were asked to serve the party, was forgotten and this has hurt the organisation.
In 1963, Congress leader K Kamaraj had proposed to the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru that all senior party leaders holding ministerial office resign and take up party work. Responding to a question on why the Congress was not able to generate ideas to counter the challenges faced by the country, Chidambaram said, "You feel that the Congress party has not risen to the carriage. I must accept our failure...that not because we are not trying."
Chidambaram, who was a minister for home and finance during the UPA governments, was participating in a panel discussion 'Is India being redefined' organised by the All India Professionals Congress.
Several senior Congress leaders, including Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Abhishek Singhvi, Salman Khursheed, attended the discussion.
In the last four year, Chidambaram said, the Congress has consistently spoken against the government and it is the only party to pay a huge price for the government's "onslaught".
"We are doing our best, but as a citizen, you feel we are not doing it as we should, I admit that.
"The real problem was...we should not have remained ministers. I think in the last couple of years there should have been a Kamraj plan under which senior ministers should have been asked to go back to the party. It is the valuable lesson taught to the party by Kamraj and Jawaharlal Nehru, a lesson we have forgotten," he said.
In the 1963 event, six Union ministers, including Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jagjivan Ram and Morarji Desai, and six chief ministers, including Kamaraj, Biju Patnaik and S K Patil resigned from their posts.
(With inputs from agencies.)