Crisis-ridden Cong unlikely to win assembly polls, says Khurshid

Salman Khurshid
Congress leader Salman Khurshid regretted that no post mortem was done on the reasons for the defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Photo: PTI

The Congress appears to have lost the battle in both Maharashtra and Haryana even before it began. This was revealed by senior party leader Salman Khurshid, on Tuesday (October 8), who opined that his outfit is unlikely to romp home in both the states precisely because the party is in the throes of crisis and confusion ever since Rahul Gandhi quit the party’s presidency.

In an interview to The Associated Press, the former External Affairs minister regretted that no post mortem was done on the reasons for the defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He also attributed that to Rahul Gandhi putting in his papers in a fit of anger. He said, “We haven’t really got together to analyse why we got defeated. Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away.”

“The biggest problem is that Rahul Gandhi ‘walked away’. Rahul left in a huff after the party miserably lost in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and his mother Sonia Gandhi got appointed interim party chief,” Khurshid was quoted as saying in the AP report.

Indicating that he would want Sonia to become the permanent head of the party, he said, “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,” Khurshid reportedly said.

Conceding that the party failed to stop Rahul from going ahead with his decision, the senior leader told ANI that that despite the party leaders’ earnest pleading, Rahul stepped down from the presidentship. “It was his decision and we respect it. This is the only time in history that a major defeat, not once but twice, has not caused the party to lose confidence in its leader”, he said.

Reacting to Khurshid’s remarks, BJP leader Sambit Patra tweeted saying, finally Congress concedes defeat even before the polling in the upcoming Assembly elections”.

A day after criticising Rahul Gandhi of ‘walking away’, Khurshid, on Wednesday (October 9) took a dig at those who deserted the party. Talking to ANI, he said, “I am deeply pained and concerned about where we are today, as a party. No matter what happens we won’t leave the party. We aren’t like those who got everything from the party and when the chips were down, things were difficult they left the party & walked away”.

Earlier Ex Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar who quit the party ahead of assembly elections in Haryana had said, “The Congress is going through existential crises, not because of its political opponents but because of serious internal contradiction.”

The Congress party is currently facing a slew of issues within the party. Its top two leaders, P Chidambaram and D K Shivakumar, are lodged in jails in alleged money laundering and corruption cases; a revolt is brewing in Maharashtra; its Haryana unit chief has quit following differences with the party leadership and many others in various state units too are deserting the party in droves.