New Delhi: A top Congress leader said Monday that the party’s collective leadership had failed in the recent assembly elections and not just the Gandhi family.
Senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Sonia Gandhi alone was not responsible for the five-state debacle. “Every state leader and MP is responsible, not just the Gandhi family,” Kharge said.
“We reimposed our faith in her, there is no question of her resigning,” he said.
At a top leadership meeting Sunday, Sonia Gandhi had said she was ready to make “any and every sacrifice” for the party, a statement many interpreted as saying that she would give up her post along with children Rahul and Priyanka.
At the five-hour Congress Working Committee meeting Sunday, all leaders wanted Rahul Gandhi as the party president, but since the process is underway for the organisational polls, the party asked Sonia Gandhi to continue as its interim chief.
Sonia took over as party president after the dismal 2019 general election results when Rahul hung up his boots.
Kharge said the CWC meeting discussed strategies of “strengthening the party”. “We will fight the BJP and its ideology. We will push our ideology and hope that in the next elections, we do much better than before,” he said.
The Congress would hold a ‘chintan shivir’ or a brainstorming session in April soon after the Budget Session of Parliament.
The new Congress chief will be elected between August 21 and September 20.
The CWC also admitted Sunday that the recent assembly election results were a “cause of serious concern” for the party.
The Congress lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party, could not wrest Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur from the BJP and the party’s tally in politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh fell to its lowest.
The Opposition has criticised the Congress, particularly the Gandhis, for not being able to take responsibility for the defeats.
BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted in Hindi: “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she was the face of Congress in UP. She tried to mislead women with her ‘I am a woman, I can fight’ slogan. But the people gave her just two seats. Despite this, no Congress leader asked for her resignation from the post of general secretary.”
He further said the Congress was deep into dynastic politics and corruption and that its retrospection on poll results was nothing but drama.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday said: “You can learn from the Congress how to lose elections.”