Suspended Congress MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, has accused party president Sonia Gandhi of arrogance and insecurity and hinted he would one day be the chief minister of Haryana.
Hitting out at the party chief in a never before fashion, Bishnoi said both Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul were surrounded by a coterie, which was keeping them away from the masses and the "common man".
"She (Sonia Gandhi) is afraid of any other young Congress leader because she thinks that he or she could be a threat to Rahul," Bishnoi told in an interview in New Delhi.
"Sonia Gandhi and Rahul are so arrogant that they keep genuine leaders away from them. The coterie around her plays a crucial role... The coterie keeps scaring her," the MP said, predicting that the country's oldest political party was bound to disintegrate further.
Bishnoi, 38, claimed that whatever political experience Sonia Gandhi had gained had not changed her personality. Sitting in the coffee shop of a luxury hotel, Bishnoi also accused the Congress president of going back on her commitment to make his father chief minister after the Haryana assembly elections in 2005.
The Congress last week suspended Bishnoi from its primary membership for "anti-party activities". Bishnoi, who represents the Bhiwani constituency in the Lok Sabha, had been running a campaign against Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who at the eleventh hour edged out his father to become Haryana chief minister. Now he has come out aggressively against Sonia Gandhi.
Revealing what he claimed were largely unknown facts, Bishnoi said he had told his father even before the Haryana elections that Sonia Gandhi was unlikely to make him chief minister if the Congress won the elections.
"My father went to her (Gandhi) saying that I had certain apprehensions. But she assured him that he (Bhajan Lal) would lead the Congress government in Haryana if the party won the polls. She kept re-assuring my father...
"I swear by god that she did it repeatedly. Once in front of me she told my father when she came for an election rally in Haryana: 'Bhajan Lalji, this is my commitment, this is my word,' But she changed after the election."
But Bishnoi said he and his father were willing to accept the party decision. "I was upset as a son. But we accepted her decision."
The Bhiwani MP said the party leaders got annoyed when he kept bringing "people's issues" to their notice.
According to Bishnoi, he suggested to Sonia Gandhi that she should have visited the victims of the Samjhauta Express train blast in Panipat last month instead of attending a party rally in Rohtak.
He also wrote to Gandhi about police attacks on striking workers of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Ltd in Gurgaon and the atrocities against Dalits in Gohana village in the state.
"The Congress is no longer a democratic party. How can I qualify it as one? It is a party of one family. Is there any election in the organisation? Be it Pradesh Congress Committee or frontal organisations like Youth Congress or Mahila Congress... There are only nominations.
"Even the Congress Legislature Party leaves the selection of its leader to the party high command," he added.
Bishnoi said he was contemplating about his political future.
Although political observers believe that both father and son would soon launch a new party, Bishnoi said: "Of course, I am ambitious. I do not want to dump the people, my voters, who put their trust in me. I have to make them happy."
"I am sure they are happy that they got someone who can speak for them defying the party leadership."
Asked if his brother Chander Mohan — the deputy chief minister in Hooda's government — would also step down, Bishnoi said: "He has his own vision. But my father supports me."
Bishnoi is determined not to resign from the Lok Sabha. "Why should I? The Congress sent me to Bhiwani to get defeated. I won the seat for the first time for the party."
"During my weekend trip to my constituency, my voters were showering praises and blessings on me. They said I would be the next chief minister of Haryana," Bishnoi declared.