The resentment brewing in a section of the young leaders of the Congress considered loyal to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday came out in the open with many of them publicly asking the “seniors” not to cross the “Lakshman Rekha” of discipline. They asked the seniors not to weaken the party through their public criticism of the leadership at a time when it is facing the difficult task of winning back the trust and confidence of the people.
Several young AICC secretaries did not mince words in taking potshots at the “seniors”— the generic team used for general secretaries and other veterans. “If Rahul Gandhi wants to involve the voice of workers in the running of the party, what is wrong in that? Those leaders who give statements about him (Rahul) should introspect if they have performed the responsibilities given to them,” AICC secretary Prakash Joshi said. Joshi is among the many who were given the responsibility of overseeing the elections introduced by Rahul in the Youth Congress and later elevated to the post of secretaries of the All India Congress Committee.
“Discipline is very important to the party. From an ordinary party worker to the highest decision making office bearer, it should be the same. Nobody should cross the Lakshman Rekha. Seniors are our mentors and how they behave will set a standard among the juniors,” former Lok Sabha MP Manicka Tagore said.
“No leader should speak out of turn. The spokespersons and panelists are there to air the party’s view. No one, senior or junior, should cross the Lakshman Rekha,” AICC secretary Subhankar Sarkar said.
As many as 16 secretaries of the AICC met on Tuesday night and decided to write to general secretaries and fellow secretaries urging them to air their views within the party forum, end the blame game and focus their energies on charting out the party’s revival. They all agreed that Rahul should not be blamed alone for the defeat.
“Not at all. It is a wrong notion (that Rahul was responsible for the defeat). It is a collective failure. We all should hold ourselves responsible. It is not the time to indulge in blame game,” AICC secretary Shakeel Ahmed Khan said.