Hours after senior Congress Salman Khurshid raised concern over the future of Congress, his party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia the party urgently needs to do “self-introspection”, otherwise it is headed for doomsday. "It is important to assess the situation in Congress to take the party ahead," Jyotiraditya Scindia said, adding that no doubt that the Congress needs to do self-introspection.
Speaking to the media during a visit to Chambal district, Scindia said in the current condition, the Congress cannot win the Haryana or the Maharashtra Assembly elections.
Khurshid said the Congress could not analyse reasons for the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha elections as its leader, Rahul Gandhi, "had walked away". The remark put into focus the acute leadership crisis facing the grand old party, with Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi stepping in as interim Congress president after the former's resignation following the poll verdict.
“We haven't really got together to analyse why we got defeated. Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away. It kind of left a vacuum,” AP quoted Khurshid as saying, who added: "Sonia Gandhi stepped in, but there is more than an indication that she is treating herself as a stop-gap arrangement. I wish it wasn’t so."
The Congress secured only 52 of the 542 parliamentary seats in the last general elections, as against the 303 won by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP.
Later, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury stood by him and said politicians like Gandhi, who stepped down taking moral responsibility for the drubbing, are rare in Indian politics.
The disgruntled leaders had claimed that Gandhi's resignation has left both the suppporters and the leaders of the grand old party in the lurch.
"Yes, I have heard about the statements by certain leaders. I would just say, yes it would have been good if Rahul Gandhi stayed back as party president. But at the same time, we must also appreciate the example of moral accountability, he has set for everybody.
"Politicians like Rahul Gandhi, who stepped down taking moral responsibility for the defeat, are rare in Indian politics. All of us should take lesson from him," Chowdhury, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal, told news agency PTI.
Saying "all of us would love to have Rahul ji back," Chowdhury said, it was Gandhi's decision and it must be respected.
"Can you cite an example in any other party, where the leader has stepped down taking responsibility of the party's defeat? The answer is no. Through his action, Rahul ji has sent out a message that before lecturing subordinates, the leader should set an example," he said.
(With PTI inputs)