Indian Express

Murmur against Team Rahul grows after election debacle, Congress leaders call for ‘ruthless introspection’

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi with party Vice President Rahul Gandhi at the CWC meeting at party headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. (Source: PTI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi with party Vice President Rahul Gandhi at the CWC meeting at party headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. (Source: PTI)

Congress should do “ruthless introspection” and only those having experience of field work should be given leadership roles, party leaders on Thursday said in a veiled attack on ‘Team Rahul’ in wake of its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress leader Milind Deora, who in an exclusive interview to The Indian Express had said that Rahul Gandhi’s advisers did not have their “ears to the ground” and those with “no electoral experience” were “calling the shots”, stuck to his guns, saying his comments are borne out of deep loyalty to the party and pain due to its performance in the polls.

“My comments are out of emotions of deep loyalty to the party, pain of our performance & a sincere desire to see us bounce back. Nothing more,” Deora said on Twitter. In another tweet, he said, “Field party work & electoral battles are key to comprehend ground realities. This should form the basis for leadership posts in Congress.”

His remarks are significant as there are murmurs in the party that a number of people having no electoral experience and novices in politics were given key roles in shaping up the decisions of the leadership on issues like campaigning and alliances.

AICC Secretary Priya Dutt, who met Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday, also talked of a “disconnect” of the party leaders with the people. Deora lost from South Mumbai to Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant while Dutt lost to BJP’s Poonam Mahajan. Senior party leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi appeared to be in agreement with the views expressed by Deora and hoped that an “honest and ruthless introspection” is carried out to rectify the problems.

Chaturvedi said that while whatever Deora stated might not be fully correct but “large portion of what he said is correct” and called for “ruthless introspection”.
“I wish an honest and ruthless introspection goes on….I sincerely hope that we are able to identify mistakes and we have to correct them. Responsibility must accompany accountablity,” he said.

On Deora’s remarks, Chaturvedi said that they were an attempt to introspect what went wrong and that the young leader had expressed his views as a Congress leader. After her meeting the Congress President, Dutt maintained that there was a “lot of criticism” and that “we have to look at where we have gone wrong in last ten years”.

Holding that UPA had done very good work in last ten years, she said that it has not been able to project it and cash on it.
“So obviously there have been a lot of faults,” she said. Both Deora and Dutt are considered to be part of Rahul Gandhi’s team. Deora’s assertions in the past on some continued…

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