NEW DELHI: Shattered by the Modi wrecking ball in Uttar Pradesh, the exalted ranks of the Congress party are facing seismic discontent from both its national and state leaderships. It’s also worried about fighting the Delhi local body polls with a demoralised cadre, lacking a decisive leadership to confront NaMo and his battle-trained brigade which will hit the city streets seeking a fresh mandate.
Sajjan Singh Verma, former MP and All India Congress Committee Secretary, has written to the ailing Congress President Sonia Gandhi seeking structural changes within a month. “You need to do an Indira (Gandhi) by scrapping the Privy Purse of Congress’s political families to revive the party,” he wrote.
Party insiders interpret this demand as a direct attack on family politics.
Meanwhile, PK (Prashant Kishor), Rahul Gandhi’s chief poll strategist is the proxy scapegoat, with Congress chief ministers refusing to hire his services for the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
Rahul Gandhi’s poll strategist is the proxy scapegoat, with Congress CMs refusing to rope in his services for the Assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka. Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh and Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah have asked him to keep away from state affairs.
In the Congress office at 24 Akbar Road, the ability of the Grand Old Party to stitch together and lead an Opposition alliance to take on Narendra Modi in 2019 is being questioned. First, partymen seek to fix the responsibility for the humiliating defeat. Former MP and Congress secretary Sajjan Singh Verma has claimed some leaders have taken ‘supari’ (bounty) to finish the Congress.
UP Congress leader Subodh Srivastava said after projecting the slogan “27 Saal UP Behaal”, playing second fiddle to Samajwadi Party was the kiss of death.
“We have to identify the person responsible. Our ground workers were completely dismayed and our campaign based on the farmers’ cause collapsed before the election. We need a new leadership,” Srivastava said.
Party leaders admit that the leadership misread the mood in the states after the note ban. Rahul’s anti-demonetisation drive when the anti-corruption fever was at its peak, backfired. Said I G Sanadhi, AICC observer for the party’s anti-demonetisation campaign, “Poll results show people supported demonetisation.”
The sniping is indirect. Former Union Minister Balram Naik is seeking a massive overhaul. “Rahul Gandhi cannot be blamed, but we need a massive restructuring in the party with real representation of grassroots leaders. We have leaders who are scuttling the chances of Congress to grow,” Naik said.