The crisis within the Congress deepened on Monday with the party choosing to hit out at “senior leaders” for speaking out in public after its poor performance in Bihar and the Assembly bypolls even as CWC member and Haryana leader Kuldeep Bishnoi launched a no holds barred attack on Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, accusing him of betraying the Gandhi family and indulging in a conspiracy with the opposition parties to break the party.
Addressing an AICC press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said “as regard to the comments made by some senior leaders, I would say as a young man in the party that these senior leaders, who we have grown up learning from, should teach us the right lesson of not going public with any of their concerns particularly when they can just pick up the phone and talk to anyone.”
“Particularly when they are members of the CWC…nominated members of the CWC, particularly when they have occupied important positions of power in the government and in the party… in the party well nominated positions…raising such concerns publicly, I would certainly feel that it needs to be avoided because there are fora available within the party and these fora are acceptable to these leaders.”
Senior leaders such as Azad, P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal have spoken out in the last one week, analysing the party’s defeat in Bihar and Assembly bypolls and talking about the party’s revival. Azad and Chidambaram are members of the CWC. It is not known who Khera was referring to when he mentioned “nominated members of the CWC”.
Khera said, “The responsibilities that our colleagues have…each one of them should just look within instead of just talking about the others…just talk about oneself.” He said it was also condemnable that some party leaders are responding to these senior leaders in public.
Without naming Azad, who has demanded party elections at various levels, Khera said, “I will not discuss whether the demand is right or wrong…but they should also say what is their view on internal elections in the Youth Congress…It can’t be that elections in one place is wrong and right in other places.”
In a video posted on his Twitter account, Bishnoi said Azad’s comments have troubled and angered him. “How can such a senior leader give such an irresponsible statement….Azad saab is saying that elections should be held from lower rung to the top…but he should answer why did he not say all this when he was appointed Youth Congress president of J&K and president of all India Youth Congress. Today he is indulging in a conspiracy with the opposition parties to break the party…we will not let the conspiracy succeed. What is your past? In your whole life…you have won elections only thrice and you are advising the party… and you are talking against the same Gandhi family who had nominated you to Rajya Sabha five times…You were appointed in charge of Haryana…and you sank the party there…had any other leader been in charge…we would have been in power in the state.” He also accused Azad of betraying the Gandhi family.
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