At a time when the Congress leadership, particularly party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, is receiving criticism from both within the party and outside it for the dismal electoral show, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid has defended the leadership, claiming any introspection or evolution has to happen within the existing party structure and under the present leadership.
“You cannot introspect about your leadership. The leader must help you introspect… for instance, if you have to review the Constitution, it has to be done under it and not outside the Constitution,” Khurshid told The Indian Express, adding what the party needed now was “evolution and not revolution”.
The former External Affairs minister, who lost his seat from Farukkhabad in Uttar Pradesh, said the analysis of the situation must be “triggered and encouraged by our leadership”. “Any suggestion of it being done outside the leadership structure is not sensible or fair… We can hardly ignore what has happened. We must explore and take positions, but not outside the structure to which we are all beholden,” he added.
He emphasised it was “futile” to blame Rahul’s “advisers”, referring to both public and veiled criticism against the party vice-president’s team by several party leaders.
Speaking of his successor and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Khurshid said she “seemed best suited for the job among the BJP’s talent pool,” but added, “from her point of view, I would worry about appointments at a very senior level on foreign policy at the PMO”. “I would have worried about creating another pole in foreign policy… I feel the new Foreign minister should be given the elbow room and freedom to work on foreign policy. Foreign policy should rest with the foreign minister. You shouldn’t make one if you don’t trust him/her,” he said.