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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Gandhis are under siege, says Arun Jaitley

IANS  New Delhi, April 14, 2014
First Published: 13:58 IST(14/4/2014) | Last Updated: 14:01 IST(14/4/2014)

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley Monday attacked the Congress, saying the "Gandhis are under siege" and the party appears to be getting "more and more desperate".

Commenting on media reports that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wanted to contest against Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi, Jaitley in his blog Monday wrote that the family charisma has faded away.

"The Gandhis are under siege. The situation is akin to what happened to Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi in the run up to the 1977 general elections. Economic populism did not work. The family charisma has faded away," Jaitley wrote.

"But a party which is merely a crowd around a family probably felt that the current leader in the family has not clicked," he added.

He suggested the real solution to the problem is to make Congress a more structured party.

"The Congress party solution is if one incumbent in the family fails, the alternative can only be another member of the family... I only wish the desperate solution of Varanasi had been actually implemented. The country now needs the myth of the other family member also to be exploded," Jaitley wrote.

Further targeting the party over reports suggesting the Congress has asked its chief ministers to either win seats or face replacement, Jaitley wrote that if the reports are true, they only confirm "how far cut off from reality the Congress has been".

"Two national papers carry reports about what is happening within the Congress. The first report suggested the desperation was so high that in order to confine Modi, Priyanka Gandhi had agreed to contest Varanasi seat against the Gujarat chief minister. Another paper reports the Congress chief ministers have been told that if you cannot win seats, you will be replaced," the leader wrote.

Jaitley added if the party (Congress) loses, it is not because of its chief ministers, but due to the government it ran.

"The problem is not with the Congress chief ministers. If the Congress loses, it is not because of its chief ministers. It is squarely because of the quality of government they ran and the non-inspirational personality of Rahul Gandhi. When the problem is within the family, why is the Congress looking for scapegoats outside?" Jaitley wrote.


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