Knives are out in the Congress with those considered close to vice-president Rahul Gandhi hitting back at his in-house critics. AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry led the fightback telling “senior leaders” that they cannot distance themselves from the election defeat by simply blaming the vice-president as they “were and are” part of the decision-making process. He also slammed the leaders for airing their “thoughts and ideas” before the media.
“Senior leaders who have easy accessibility to the Congress president and vice-president and who were and are a part of the decision-making process and expresses their ideas and thoughts without any hesitation or fear before the Congress president and vice-president can sit with them and air their views rather than telling that to the press in public,” Mistry told The Indian Express.
Mistry did not name any leader, merely referring to “senior leaders”. His remarks, however, came close on the heels of general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s comment that Rahul should be more visible and heard more. Speaking to The Sunday Express, he had also argued that Rahul’s silence contributed to the party’s loss in the war of perception. Weeks before, his colleague Janardan Dwivedi had argued that the party should be able to listen and not just make others listen. Days before, he wanted fixing of the age-limit for holding active posts in the party.
Mistry said it was the prerogative of the Congress president to decide her team, virtually rejecting Dwivedi’s suggestion that age should be factored in while picking the team. He went on to say, “He (Rahul) is blamed for losing the elections. Out of 206 sitting MPs, five or six were not given tickets. The rest 200 or so were given tickets and why 180 sitting MPs lost. He (Rahul) was not involved in that. He did not make that decision. It was the Congress Election Committee which decided that.”
When pointed out that many are criticising his style of functioning, Mistry shot back saying: “Why can’t they tell him all this in person...What I don’t understand is the need for making such statements.”