Cong crisis: Kharge attacks leaders for weakening party

Congress crisis: Mallikarjun Kharge attacks fellow leaders for weakening party structure

Kharge’s comments are seen as his rebuke of the latest leadership crisis in the Congress

Mallikarjun Kharge. Credit: DH

With the Congress facing an unresolved leadership crisis, party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday lashed out at his colleagues for “weakening the party from within” and questioned their credibility as leaders.

“I am pained by the way some senior leaders have spoken about the party and our leader,” Kharge said during an event to mark the birthday of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“On one hand, we have the BJP-RSS on our back. On the other hand, we have internal rumblings. We can’t go forward if we have people weakening the party from within. If our ideology weakens, we will be destroyed,” he said.

Kharge’s comments are seen as his rebuke of the latest leadership crisis in the Congress after the party’s dismal performance in the recent Bihar elections.

Read: Internal rumblings in Congress: Who said what

“There’s an old adage that the true colours of our friends can be measured during a defeat and that of our family during illness. Now, we have both defeat and illness, so we will know who’s with us and who’s not,” Kharge, a Gandhi family loyalist lamented.

The former Union minister questioned the credibility of leaders who are targeting the Congress high command. “They can't even produce corporators in their areas,” he said.

“Everybody will praise the party when everything's nice. But when an election is lost, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are blamed,” he said. “But every state has its own leaders and 90% of the tickets are given based on their advice. Today, leaders complain that nobody listens to them.”

Kharge pointed out that it was the decision of the Congress Working Committee that Sonia Gandhi should continue as interim president until elections are held. “Elections are yet to be held and Covid-19 hasn’t gone still. We can’t have 100 people together in one place. And yet, people are talking,” Kharge rued.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah said that he acknowledged Kharge’s pain over the state of affairs in the party. “Communalists are spreading throughout the country. Perhaps, we are failing to convince people. I don’t know if we’re failing in convincing party workers also,” he said, attacking the BJP for “disrespecting” the Constitution.