In another major setback for the Congress, senior leader Furqan Ansari has now blamed Rahul Gandhi for the party’s downfall in the recently concluded Bihar assembly elections and also criticised his leadership skills. Referring to an election rally by Gandhi at Kahalgaon in Bihar, Ansari claimed that the former party chief failed to impress the people as ‘they could not understand what he spoke’.
The top minority leader of the Congress also said that the party’s status will only improve if Rahul Gandhi changes his advisors who have ‘kept him in the dark.’
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Furqan Ansari said, “As the party was gearing for Bihar elections and Rahul Gandhi was rallying in Bihar’s Kahalgaon we had encouraged people from surrounding villages to attend his rally. A lot of people went for the program, but after returning they said: We saw Rahul Gandhi, but could not understand what he said. The villagers were mainly women.”
Ansari further said that he has written letters to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi as well as Rahul Gandhi on the need to make amendments in the party’s functioning.
“I have been a Congressman since 1980 when India Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India. I need no certificate to prove that I belong to Congress. But today it hurts me to see this condition of the party,” he added.
This was yet another voice of revolt from within the Congress, reflecting an internal storm, after its disappointing performance in the Bihar polls. Over the last two days, similar remarks have been made by senior leaders including Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Tariq Anwar, who were also criticised by their fellow members for questioning the party leadership. More and more Congress loyalists are turning rebels as the party continues to lose ground in state assembly elections.
Congress has been blamed by the RJD as well as the BJP, for the defeat of the Grand Alliance Bihar elections. The success rate of RJD and the Left parties was over 50% whereas the Congress managed to win only 19 out of 70 seats it contested. Congress claimed only nine seats out of 28 in Madhya Pradesh by-polls and could not win a single seat in the Karnataka by-polls. It managed to win only eight assembly seats in Gujarat. Congress’ performance was also discouraging in Uttar Pradesh where party’s General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi is in-charge.
Meanwhile, RJD leaders raised questions over Congress' attitude towards Bihar Assembly polls. Shivanand Tiwari slammed the Congress leadership saying that they did not pay heed to the campaign as many senior leaders like Priyanka Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh and even president Sonia Gandhi did not participate in the election campaign.