Failure to follow Jaipur declaration cost Cong dear

Failure to follow Jaipur declaration cost Cong dear

Many theories are doing the rounds within the Congress party in Rajasthan for the massive defeat it had suffered at the hands of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. 

Leaders and party workers attribute the drubbing to lacklustre campaign and internal rift, but amidst all the blame game, they are united in placing the responsibility at the doorsteps of the top leadership which they say has ignored the Jaipur declaration made during last year’s Chintan Shivir. It was at that meeting Rahul Gandhi was anointed party vice-president. 

Released to strengthen the party’s chances of getting a third term at the Centre as well as retaining power in the state, the declaration containing 56 rules was completely ignored in both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, according to leaders here. 

“The declaration clearly banned PCC chiefs, executive committee members, district presidents and other office bearers from contesting any elections. But rules were ignored and were used as a tool by senior leaders to deny ticket and sideline the opponents,” a senior Congress leader said. 

The declaration clearly stated that those holding positions in the party must resign at least a year in advance to fight elections. But Rahul Gandhi and his team, the original architects of those rules, overlooked them in the ticket distributions. 

“In Rajasthan, PCC chief Sachin Pilot contested the LS polls from Ajmer, national general secretary C P Joshi contested from Jaipur Rural, editor of Congress Sandesh, Girija Vyas and national secretary Harsh Choudhary contested the LS elections from Chittorgarh and Barmer respectively. None of the leaders resigned from their party post. Where was the much-talked-about Jaipur Declaration when the leaders were given the party ticket,” a senior Congress leader said.  

Party leaders here say that the same was repeated across the country. Individual leaders restricted themselves to their constituencies and did not function as a cohesive unit. 

Crucially, the party had ignored the suggestion that candidates for both Assembly and Parliamentary elections should be announced at least six months in advance to enable them to connect with the voters. 

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