Leaders like Abdul Mannan, Congress candidate from Sreerampore and party spokesman, and Manoj Chakrabarty, former minister and Congress MLA from Murshidabad, said the party leadership was lax here and leaders with no worth were calling the shots.
“The party leadership should be changed,’’ Chakrabarty told The Sunday Express candidly.
Mannan added: “You go to Delhi and want to meet some leader but you will not get the appointment. Some leaders who have lost contact with the grassroots have occupied key positions here. They should be changed.
Mannan was reluctant to contest was pushed by Rahul into the fray.
However, West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, who has retained his Baharampur seat in Murshidabad district for the fourth time, was in favour of a more pro-active role for party president Sonia Gandhi
Asked whether Priyanka Gandhi should be used more for party affairs, Choudhury, who was appointed PCC president by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said: “I am not saying whether Rahul or Priyanka should be brought but I want a more pro-active role for Madam Sonia Gandhi. She should plunge into party activities and give more time for the party.”
Choudhury, who won with a record margin of 3, 56. 275 votes over TMC candidate Indranil Sen, said the Congress leadership failed to showcase its achievements unlike Narendra Modi who proved to be a bigger salesman.
“It was during the Congress rule that the nation absorbed the massive ecomonic shock of the recession in Europe and USA. The Congress launched several popular schemes like the NREGA but it was the corruption stories that ate into that success,’’ Choudhury said.
AICC general secretary Subhankar Sarker termed his party’s performance as not Rahul’s or his party’s defeat but the triumph of communal forces. “We could not convince people of the good work that we did for the poor and that is why we lost,’’ Sarker said.