Rejecting criticism about Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, Congress leader A K Antony on Friday said he was not responsible for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and exuded optimism that it will revive under Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.
Antony, who headed a committee that probed the reasons for the party’s poll debacle and submitted its report to Sonia Gandhi on Thursday, dismissed reports that there was a question mark on the leadership of Rahul after the elections and that the committee has suggested something like that.
“This is all speculation. Nothing. Absolutely wrong. Those who are spreading this kind of rumours want to weaken the party…such things are being spread by mischievous people, who want to to weaken the party,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the flag hoisting ceremony at AICC headquarters.
Antony said the “reasons for the Congress defeat were something else”.
However, he did not elaborate as to what conclusions the panel has arrived at for the worst-ever defeat of Congress in the 2014 general elections.
Sonia and Rahul did not take questions from the media and left after wishing ‘Happy Independence Day’ to all.
Antony insisted that it was Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, who toured throughout the country and addressed rallies in the run-up to the polls.
At the outset, he said the panel chaired by him submitted the report to Sonia yesterday but refused to divulge details.
All the four members of the panel Antony, Mukul Wasnik, RC Khuntia and Avinash Pandey had met the Congress President and submitted the voluminous report.
“I do not want to go into details. I will not reveal the details…I do not want to say anything about the content of the report,” was his brief response to questions like whether his panel has faulted the communication strategy of the party or blamed the way media reported during Lok Sabha polls.
“We are confident, Just as we did in 1977, we will overcome this difficult phase as well. Congress will overcome this. We will be able to regain the loss, strengthen our party, strengthen our mass base again. We will revive under leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul,” Antony said.
Asked about murmurs of dissent within the party over leadership, the party veteran, who had proposed anointment of Rahul as Vice President during Congress Chintan Shivir in Jaipur last year, said such leaders should instead do something to ensure that the party regains lost ground.
“They must do something to regain the ground. That we are confident of… We are 100 per cent confident of regaining lost ground,” he said.
Apart from giving a condensed over-all report on the Congress’ poor show nationwide, the report has also focused on specific states incorporating discussions held with their leaders on the reasons for the continued…