Former union minister Salman Khurshid's remarks about a leadership crisis in the Congress brought to the fore the unease within the party after the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, even as the BJP to mocked its arch-rival.
Khurshid's articulation of pain and concern over the state of affairs within the Congress prompted senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia to call for “self-introspection”.
“We need to know why we are in the state in which we are,” Khurshid said here, pointing out that despite the massive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party has not lost confidence in its leader Rahul Gandhi.
Khurshid, who was nominated to the 18-member advisory council of the Uttar Pradesh Congress on Monday, said that had Rahul continued in his post, the party could have analysed the reason for its defeat and prepared better to face the challenges ahead.
The senior leader's remarks in the middle of an election campaign in Haryana and Maharashtra caused some heartburn in the Congress, prompting the party to tick him off.
“Let Salman Khurshid give you the answers. People should avoid making such side comments and should actually expose this government for its follies, which are aplenty,” Congress spokesman Pawan Khera told reporters here.
He said the Congress was focussed on the Haryana and Maharashtra elections, working together, with all possible strength at its command.
BJP mocked the Congress, with party spokesman Sambit Patra saying that the grand old party had conceded defeat in Haryana and Maharashtra even before the votes were cast.
“So finally Congress concedes defeat even before the polling in the upcoming Assembly elections,” Patra said, adding that even Khurshid agreed that Sonia Gandhi was a “stop-gap arrangement” after Rahul “walked away” from the party president's post.
“This clearly means that the Congress is left without any leader, policies or intent,” Patra said.