Taking the blame game over scoring a duck in the Delhi assembly elections to the top, an all-India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary has put the onus on party president Sonia Gandhi.
Media reports quoted the AICC secretary in charge of Punjab Harish Chaudhary, who is considered close to party vice-president and Sonia’s son, Rahul Gandhi, as having stated at a press conference in Jalandhar on Thursday that Rahul had only been assisting the captain of the team, while she made all decisions”.
Asked to react, Chaudhary said he had been “misquoted”. “I had said that Sonia Gandhi was our leader and we fought the elections under her leadership,” he said, but his remarks had by then triggered a storm in the party, with former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh questioning his locus standi on the matter.
“Mr Chaudhary will do us a favour by keeping his m outh shut rather than blaming the Congress president for the defeat,” he said.
“It is strange and surprising,” he added, “that a small-time party office-bearer who lost badly himself and has little political experience virtually should sit in judgment over Ms Gandhi and have the audacity to pronounce her guilty of Delhi electoral failure.”
Seeking an immediate and unconditional apology from Chaudhary for overstepping his brief, Amarinder said elements such as the party secretary needed to be “disciplined firmly lest they create chaos and confusion”.
The disquiet in the Congress over the wipeout in Delhi is palpable, as leaders are at discomfort explaining the reasons. On Thursday, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit blamed party’s chief ministerial candidate Ajay Maken, prompting Sonia to intervene by asking leaders not to squabble in public.