For the past few days, Congress spokespersons have just not been able to get anything right. They seem to have been plagued with the 'foot-in-mouth' disease, leaving many partymen wondering how this would be tackled.
It started with Manish Tewari's no-holds-barred attack against social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday. Armed with the Justice PB Sawant commission report, Tewari went hammer and tongs against Hazare, claiming that the inquiry panel had found him "steeped in corruption from head to toe".
Apart from calling Hazare "corrupt", he also referred to his team as "A Company". But to contain the fallout, the Congress next day decided to refrain from launching personal attacks against Hazare.
Apparently, the party did not want the war of words to become a Congress-versus-Hazare affair.
Just as the party was trying to make amends for Tewari's harsh comments, came another gaffe on Wednesday: Rashid Alvi, another spokesperson, accused the US of supporting Hazare’s movement.
Alvi repeated the charge several times during the press briefing and when questions were asked, he said, "Whatever I said I have said on behalf of my party." He was replying to a question whether it was the official position of the Congress.
On Thursday, as spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury tried to deflect the bouncers on Alvi, terming his goof-up as human error, she too went off mark on one occasion.
To a question on why Rahul Gandhi was silent on the Hazare episode, she said, "He will speak when he feels like… Woh tota nahin hai (he is not a parrot)".
This has not gone down well within party circles. "The party nuances its stand to spokespersons on a daily basis in broader terms… We can’t spoonfeed them. They need to apply their mind on sensitive issues," said a senior party functionary.