Salman Khurshid conceding to the crisis of the grand old party claimed that Rahul Gandhi's presence as the Congress chief would have allowed the party to introspect their defeat. The statement by the senior Congress leader comes at the time when the national party is grappling to survive, with the multiple cases of infighting in various states, the exodus of party leaders and the current controversy of Rahul Gandhi leaving for Bangkok ahead of state polls.
Salman Khurshid asserted that Congress would have introspected the party's electoral downfall if Rahul Gandhi "was around" and that then they would have been "prepared better" in his presence as the chief of the party to fighting the upcoming electoral battles.
He said, "This is perhaps the only time in history that a major defeat, not once but twice, has not caused the party to lose confidence in their leader. But as I said it's his decision. If he had stayed and was around, we could have moved forward with an analysis of our defeat, we would've understood better the causes of our defeat and be better prepared to fight the battles in coming times. I still think efforts have been made. The country's mood is changing on foreign policy, defense, national security, social harmony and most of all the economics. I am absolutely confident that this mood that is changing will reflect in the results that will come in the elections that will follow in the next few months."
Khurshid expressed his "deep pain and concern" over the party's situation and admitted that the grand old party is in a "difficult situation." He said, "I have very, very deep pain and concern about where we are today as a party. There are many people who feel complete and total allegiance with the Congress party, I can hope that I am one of them, that no matter what happens, we will not leave the party."
"We are not people who got everything from the party and when the chips were down and things were difficult, they left the party and walked away. Now, of course, the difficult situation we are in, is a situation we need to tackle in a sense of urgency. We need to know why we are in this state in which we are, unfortunately, despite our urgent and earnest pleading our leader Rahul Gandhi decided to step down and resign from the president. We wanted him to continue, we want him to continue, but it was his decision and we respect that decision," Khurshid added.
Tuesday night, Khurshid sounding alarm on Congress' fate said that the "biggest problem" is that Rahul Gandhi "walked away." “We haven’t really got together to analyze why we got defeated. Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away,” Khurshid said, adding that Rahul Gandhi still retains the allegiance of the party.
“It’s kind of left a vacuum,” Khurshid 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.” Former party president Rahul Gandhi resigned after the second defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, stepped in on an interim basis.
(With AP inputs)