In another shocker to the Congress party, spokesperson P C Chacko on Saturday admitted that the party’s prospects in the coming election were not good as it had failed to communicate the important works done by the UPA-2 government to the people.
“The situation is not favourable and results are unpredictable. The opposition has succeeded in giving much negative publicity,” he said, adding that party leaders had a tough time explaining key issues and positions.
But state Congress chief V M Sudheeran and another spokesperson Shashi Tharoor, who is also the minister of state for HRD, deplored Chacko’s statements. “We don’t agree with what he said. It is better to avoid such statements when the party is set to take the poll battle in full steam,” said Sudheeran. “We are contesting to win. I don’t know in which context he said this,” said Tharoor.
Party insiders say Chacko was upset with the party high command insisting that he seek re-election. Like union ministers AK Antony and Vayalar Ravi, he too wanted to keep away from the poll battle this time.
Chacko, who is also chairman of the joint parliamentary committee on the 2G scam, said that corruption cases, including 2G scam had put the government on the defensive. Like many senior Congress leaders he was reluctant to contest the Lok Sabha polls this time but later agreed after he was shifted from Thrissur, which he represented in the outgoing Lok Sabha, to nearby Chalakudy.
Speaking to mediapersons in Ernakulam, Chacko also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s silence on key issues, including corruption cases. “The Prime Minister’s silence on many issues, including corruption cases proved costly. And leaders, including me failed to communicate the important work done by the government,“ he said, adding that the party would not mind sitting in the opposition benches in the next Lok Sabha.
“The PM was reluctant to interact with the media. Many of us often pleaded with him to meet the media at least once in a week or a month. But for some reasons he did not do so,” he said. “It is a fact that we failed to reach out to the people on what we have done,” he said.
However, Chacko claimed that the Congress would maintain its winning streak in Kerala — the Congress-led United Democratic Front won 16 of the 20 seats in the state the last time.