ALL India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and party’s UP in-charge Madhusudan Mistry was shouted down and not allowed to speak by a group of party leaders on the first of the two-day “chintan shivir” (brainstorming session) of the Gujarat Congress that began here Saturday.
According to some of the party leaders, who attended the session, a group of leaders “insulted and heckled” Mistry, forcing the latter to end his speech abruptly within a few minutes.
Sources said those raising objections began “taunting” Mistry when he started listing steps that were overlooked by the party and that resulted in a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
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The Congress could not win a single seat from Gujarat which has 26 seats in Lok Sabha. The assault on Mistry happened in the presence of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Arjun Modhwadia and Congress Legislature Party leader Shankersinh Vaghela.
The protesters asked Mistry why he failed to raise the issues before the top leadership of the Congress prior to or during the elections to help improve the party’s performance.
Mistry, who has been credited with the reorganisation of the party and its improved performance in Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshdweep in 2011, is considered close to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and is reported to have played a crucial role in selection of candidates in the politically critical UP and elsewhere.
Party leaders close to Mistry alleged that the attack was “carefully planned and arranged” against him by his detractors in the party. They said there were some people in the party who were “jealous” of his rise in the organisation. Neither Mistry nor Modhwadia were available for comments.