Congress' problem is that Rahul Gandhi walked away: Salman Khurshid
Evidently, Congress is fighting for survival. The party faced its straight second defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in May, proving it is extremely far from reality. While political aficionados have been asking Congress to smell the coffee, a senior party leader has revealed the problem which plagues the party. According to Salman Khurshid, it's Rahul Gandhi's decision to "walk away".
What did Rahul do or did not do?
Rahul was the president of Congress when general elections were held in summer. Rooting his campaign on Rafale, he held innumerable rallies. But countrymen rejected him and Congress won just 52 seats, as opposed to BJP's 303. Rahul even failed to retain his bastion Amethi, losing it to Union Minister Smriti Irani. Soon after the debacle, he resigned and his mother Sonia Gandhi took over.
Didn't get time to analyze defeat, said Khurshid
Here's the thing- Congress took weeks to accept Rahul's resignation and spent a lot of time convincing him to stay. This showed there is no leadership in the party. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP, and went back to work after the historic win. Commenting on crisis in Congress, Khurshid said that they didn't get time to "analyze the defeat".
Sonia's filling-in is a stop-gap solution
"Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away. It's kind of left a vacuum. Sonia Gandhi stepped in, but there is more than an indication that she is treating herself as a stop-gap arrangement. I wish it wasn't so," the former Union Minister said.
In yet another interview, Khurshid expressed displeasure with "temporary arrangement"
Khurshid also spoke to Indian Express and reiterated the same. He said he wasn't pleased with the "temporary arrangement" of Sonia taking over. "Whoever is our leader, I want him or her to stay. I want them to stay," he added. Further, Khurshid talked about a "unique trait" in Congress wherein leaders are still "committed" to Rahul (why we wonder?) even after his exit.
Defeats, notwithstanding, Rahul is still our leader: Khurshid
"We still remain committed to him... This is a unique thing. Two defeats and the leader still remains the leader. People still owe allegiance to him. But unfortunately, since he is not there we haven't been able to do the analysis," he went on.
Khurshid urged leaders to "do something"
Khurshid also said that the entire party wanted Rahul to stay at the post, but failed. He said he can't call leaders to do an analysis, as that's the leader's job. "The sooner we do the analysis the better. Because that's how we will get the message. We had a fantastic manifesto, but we were not able to carry the people," he said.
Congress infighting in poll-bound states will definitely hurt its prospects
His comments come just days before Maharashtra and Haryana elections, where Congress is crippled by infighting. "Those problems are there for everyone to see. But we just have to handle them. What I am saying is let's handle it. Time is short," he said. Earlier, senior leader Sanjay Nirupam said he might quit Congress and Ashok Tanwar also resigned from Haryana Congress.
Subsequently, Sambit Patra said Congress is left with no "neta"
Unsurprisingly, BJP jumped at the opportunity saying Congress has conceded defeat even before the polls. BJP's Sambit Patra took to Twitter to write that the grand old party is left with no "neeti", "neta" and "niyat". With even the veteran leaders sounding an alarm, the question is: When will Congress understand it is running out of time and become the opposition party India needs?
The "stop-gap" arrangement garnered criticism
So finally Congress concedes defeat even before the polling in the upcoming Assembly elections!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) October 9, 2019
Khurshid agrees Rahul Gandhi has just “Waked Away” Sonia Gandhi is just a “Stop-Gap” arrangement ...meaning @INCIndia is left with no “नेता”,”नीति” or “नियत”! pic.twitter.com/gciL3bHNOM