Rahul takes no blame, Congress veterans call for ‘cardiac surgery’

Senior Congress leader K V Thomas told The Indian Express that the Congress leadership should rise to the expectations of the people.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: March 16, 2017 12:30 pm
Uttar Pradesh election results 2017, Uttar Pradesh election results, Rahul Gandhi, Congress defeat in UP, UP BJP, Narendra Modi, UP Congress, Uttarakhand election results, Goa election results, Manipur election results, Indian Express, India news Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

As Rahul Gandhi, in first remarks on the rout of the Congress in the UP Assembly elections, took no blame and called for structural and organisational changes, more and more party veterans said it was time the leadership considered drastic steps since the need of the hour was a “cardiac surgery”. “As far as the Congress party is concerned, we do need to make structural and organisational changes. That is a fact,” Rahul said Tuesday. “The BJP won in UP… why they won it. There are multiple reasons. Large part of it is polarisation… We are in the Opposition and you have ups and downs. So, we had a little down in UP which is fine, we accept it. But we have an ideological fight with the BJP and we will continue to do that,” he said, calling a 3-2 scoreboard not a “bad result”.

Frustration appears to be growing in the party after the stunning win of the BJP. Senior Congress leader K V Thomas told The Indian Express that the Congress leadership should rise to the expectations of the people. “People still believe that the Congress is the party which can lead the country against Narendra Modi… The party should improve its functioning in tune with that aspiration. We should be preparing ourselves, especially for elections, in advance. Not on the eve of elections. The state and central level leaderships should rise to the expectations of the people,” Thomas said.

Many leaders spoke of drastic steps. Former Union Minister M Veerappa Moily was the first to demand a major surgery in the party. Today, Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Satyavrat Chaturvedi echoed him, saying the need of the hour was a “cardiac surgery”.

“It has been three years (since the 2014 defeat). Nothing has happened so far. Everyone was waiting something will happen and are tired now. Now we have lost hope. And the results are before us,” Chaturvedi told The Indian Express. He said there is no point in giving suggestions now as “it is not being listened to… jin logon ki advice le rahe ho… unhi ki advice lo.” He said it is also high time the ambiguity over Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics ends.

Party veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar said it is clear that the Congress cannot take on the BJP on its own in 2019 and argued that it should strive to put together an “inclusive alliance” if it wants to defeat the BJP and “retrieve” the idea of India. Aiyar called the Uttar Pradesh mandate the “first victory of the concept of Hindu India after V D Savarkar put it forward in 1925.”

He said the BJP could not find even one Muslim candidate candidate from a population of 40 million Muslims to field in UP which meant that all non-Muslim castes and communities were sought to be “brought together and wrapped in the flag of Hindu nationalism”. “That is precisely opposite to the idea of India on the basis of which we won our Independence and consolidated our nationhood for the last seven decades,” he said.

“It is a huge challenge. And given this, as an inclusive political party that what we are, then we need to have an inclusive alliance… So we should work,” he said.

He said the mechanical points like who will lead the alliance and who will be its prime ministerial candidate can be worked out later. “What is your objective? To become Prime Minister or to retrieve the idea of India,” he said. “If we say that we will take on the BJP single-handedly, then I think that approach is doomed. But it is for the Indian National Congress to decide whether as a matter of strategy it wants to create an all inclusive coalition to battle… the move by the BJP to wrap all non-Muslim communities together in a Hindu pole.”

He said the fact that the Congress cannot take on the BJP on its own is “self-evident”. “I don’t think it requires a Mani Shankar Aiyar brain to come to this obvious conclusion. That the Congress cannot take on the BJP on its own in 2019 is a no-brainer. It is obvious,” he said.

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  1. I
    IML sood
    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:47 am
    Whatever Pappu may become till a surgery is done to make him mature, no other surgery of party or anybody else will help. Irony is that Cong.has one and only one leader left from Nehru Ganghi clan but unfortunately he is growing in age but lacking in maturity so down fall is immenent,let there be any treatment or surgery from any expert.
    Reply
    1. S
      Samanya Admi
      Mar 15, 2017 at 12:15 am
      The death of pseudosecularism as a political tool is the real liberation of India. The idea of India espoused by the like of Aiyer and a Congress party was dead the day parion on religious lines happened. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Let India be freed from the political baggage of freedom struggle and act in a pragmatic manner. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Jai Hind
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 15, 2017 at 2:36 am
        "Hindu c m m u n a l forces are more d a n g e r o u s than the I s l a m i c" - the heart says to brain and the brain says to the people!!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You probably need to replace the heart and also probably the brain!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Easy and cost effective way out is to join Modi Team for training which many Congress men/women are doing on their personal initiative! Don't underestimate individuals/people!
        Reply
        1. P
          Punit
          Mar 15, 2017 at 2:59 am
          Cobgress thinking starts with muslims and ends with muslims. They think concept of India is only about muslims.lt;br/gt;That is why they lost and will keep losing.
          Reply
          1. S
            SHINDE
            Mar 15, 2017 at 2:41 am
            Good that Mr iyer has realised, what he should have fee years back
            Reply
            1. R
              Rathna LK
              Mar 15, 2017 at 2:32 am
              Why should Shri Rahul hi take the blame?
              Reply
              1. V
                vijay
                Mar 15, 2017 at 12:24 am
                Mani shankar Aiyer definitely finds the tea dished out by the good old chaiwalla from Gujarat, in the last election is too hot for his liking and is desperately looking for coalition partners to hold the cup blow the tea cold so that he can drink it at his leasure.Well one can always live in dream.
                Reply
                1. H
                  Hinna Vandu
                  Mar 15, 2017 at 12:44 am
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                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Balasubramanya
                    Mar 15, 2017 at 3:59 am
                    Politicians like Iyyar doesn't know ABCD of Indian politics and people like him is big burden to Congress.
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      Balasubramanya
                      Mar 15, 2017 at 4:00 am
                      Who else should take the blame ?
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        Franky
                        Mar 15, 2017 at 2:26 am
                        Why Rahul should take blame. This is stupid. You have first of all ungrateful people, greedy party members and you media are after Rahul this is nonsense and media working for the rascal liar Govt.
                        Reply
                        1. I
                          Ivan
                          Mar 15, 2017 at 12:19 am
                          Rahul doesn't have the courage to accept that the Congress has taken a body blow in UP and that he has to take moral responsibility for it. A man who cannot do that is not fit to lead the Congress. With his atude, with him leading us into the next election we might as well concede a walkover.
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                          1. R
                            Ratan Kan
                            Mar 14, 2017 at 11:54 pm
                            Mani Shankar Aiyar talks is one of the politicians, who enjo power without any pority; he cant even become a Councillor on his own.. he thrived in politics only because of his proximity to the congress dynasty, and he is one of the parasites who sidelined leaders like Narsimha Roa for a family's benefit.. now its ridiculous to see how he wants to save idea of "India".. he can save only the idea of "Indira", which is to be in power through whatever means...
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                            1. K
                              KS KUMAR
                              Mar 15, 2017 at 12:48 am
                              Very well said
                              Reply
                              1. H
                                Harminder Singh
                                Mar 15, 2017 at 1:25 am
                                Sincere advise is that it's not necessary to always be in the limelight remain in the shadows and emerge only when required that is the way forward.Keep a low profile with a charismatic orator upfront
                                Reply
                                1. M
                                  Mahender Goriganti
                                  Mar 15, 2017 at 12:19 am
                                  With a proven complete heart failure no surgery will help other than replacing fake his with real heart if we want to revive the dead congress with a new heart.
                                  Reply
                                  1. B
                                    Bhatiye Patel
                                    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:02 am
                                    It high time that Congress party look for some one else to lead. The coteries around are just not letting it go and bent on destroying the party by keeping this immature man at helm!
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raghu
                                      Mar 15, 2017 at 2:07 am
                                      Is it only for ladies with big mouth and no teeth?!?😄😄😄
                                      Reply
                                      1. G
                                        Girish Rao
                                        Mar 15, 2017 at 1:34 am
                                        No lessons learnt still living in the past and uming Muslim potion as person fiefdom of congis.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Ramesh Salgotra
                                          Mar 15, 2017 at 12:02 am
                                          Congress should first fire table chair leader like Mani Shankar who are unabashedly pro Muslim and anti Hindu. You can't win a election without support of majority potion
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                                          1. M
                                            MP Singh
                                            Mar 15, 2017 at 3:21 am
                                            The Congress party is in a pathetic state. In UP, SP made the mistake of aligning Congress with them; the alliance sank SP also. No party will easily agree to tie up an Electoral alliance with Congress. Mani Shankar Aiyar is not aware of the current ground reality. Truth is that the people of India have realized that the Congress party gave them nothing during last seven decades of their rule. They do not want Congress any more. The change is working everywhere in the world; it will work better in India. Do not listen to Mr. Aiyar, he is a disgruntled man. Modi will do best for India.
                                            Reply
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