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‘Extreme Left’ section trying to turn Congress into ‘poorly-managed NGO’, says ex-spokesman Shergill

Jaiveer Shergill, who quit the party Wednesday, also claimed that its top decision-makers seem highly influenced by a 'coterie or cabal of PAs, OSDs and a select few leaders'.

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New Delhi: A section of the Congress that believes in “Left extreme (sic) ideology” is making systematic efforts to turn the party into a “poorly-managed NGO”, former spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, who quit the Congress Wednesday, has said.

In an interview with ThePrint, he also claimed that his year-long efforts to get a meeting with the party leadership — interim president Sonia Gandhi, MP Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — have been in vain.

The 39-year-old, who was a lawyer practising in the Supreme Court before he took the plunge into politics, also feels that top decision-makers in the Congress seem to be “highly influenced by a coterie or cabal consisting of PAs (personal assistants), OSDs (officers on special duty) and a select few leaders” when it comes to decision-making and assigning responsibilities.

Decision-making in the Congress is not being weighed using the scales of electoral impact or how much ice the Congress leadership is cutting with the public, Shergill said, adding that the “three As of accountability, answerability and awareness of ground reality” are completely missing from the process.

“Despite this vicious cycle of election losses, there is not even an effort to set an agenda or to have a strong messaging to attract voters. Even on critical political issues of today’s times like secularism, nationalism and economy, the voter has no clarity on where the Congress stands,” he said.

Taking aim at the Gandhis, Shergill remarked that the Congress party’s top leadership seems to be “immune” to electoral wins and losses.

Also Read: Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Congress, says Rahul destroyed ‘consultative mechanism’ in party

‘Core criteria shifted to sycophancy’

Elaborating on his claim that the Congress leadership is highly influenced by a “coterie”, Shergill said: “The core criteria of merit and competence seems to have shifted to sycophancy and proximity to the cabal.”

“As a result, any young, well-meaning leader for whom Congress is not a hub of earning money is either being elbowed out or not being heard. Because that input or that valid criticism might shake the apple cart of this cabal,” he added.

Shergill said his futile efforts to get a meeting with the Gandhis reinforced his decision to sever ties with the Congress. “I wanted to seek a one-on-one audience with all the three Gandhis. I have been trying to seek time for the last one and a half years. I have not got a revert (sic). People who have joined from other parties, people who have been open critics of the family, of the Congress, have got time quicker and faster than well-meaning leaders and individuals like me.”

In his resignation letter addressed to Sonia, the former spokesperson said that the party’s decision-making mechanism is “no longer for the interests of the public and country”.

“Primary reason [for quitting] being that the ideology and vision of the current decision-makers of the Indian National Congress are no longer in sync with the aspiration of the youth and modern India,” he wrote.

Asked about his plans for the future, Shergill chose to remain tight-lipped. “I’m neither quitting nor leaving the political space. The plan of the future will be known in the future.”

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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