As the Congress struggles to find its feet even five months after its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, senior party leader Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said it is high time the party “analyse the reasons” for its defeat to understand the message of the verdict. He said the party could not carry out the analysis because Rahul Gandhi “walked away”, leaving a vacuum in the party.
Khurshid, a former External Affairs Minister, said he was not happy with the temporary arrangement put in place by the party by appointing Sonia Gandhi as the interim president. “I am not happy with that. Whoever is our leader, I want him or her to stay. I want them to stay,” he told The Indian Express.
He said he is sharing his “agony” so that it gets registered somewhere.
On the Congress’s prospects in the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections, he hoped the party is battle ready. “We got a new leadership in Haryana and elsewhere, I hope we are ready,” he said. On divisions in the party in the two states, he said, “Those problems are there for everyone to see. But we just have to handle them. What I am saying is let’s handle it. Time is short.” Read in Bangla
Asked about his comments made to Associated Press news agency that the party is yet to analyse the Lok Sabha election defeat as Rahul Gandhi had walked away, he said: “You have to have a leadership in place to do it. But unfortunately and sadly we lost our leader. Our problem is that he walked away but we still remain committed to him… This is a unique thing. Two defeats and the leader still remains the leader. People still owe allegiance to him. But unfortunately since he is not there we haven’t been able to do the analysis.”
“It is sad that we lost our leader. I wish we had him. We all wanted him to stay. That is a big thing. The entire party wanted him to stay. But we don’t have him. So what to do? I can’t call people and say let’s do an analysis. It has to be done by the leader… I hope after the elections we will be able to address it,” he said.
“The sooner we do it (the analysis) the better. Because that is how we will get the message. We had a fantastic manifesto, but we were not able to carry the people. So let’s do something,” he added.