Kerala MP backs Sandeep Dikshi, says CWC polls will re-energise Congress.
New Delhi: After the party’s pathetic performance in the Delhi elections, tremors are being felt within the Congress with several leaders raising questions and demanding a complete overhaul of the leadership. Senior Congress leader and Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday urged the Congress Working Committee to hold leadership elections to “energise workers and inspire voters”. Dr Tharoor’s appeal came in support of his party colleague and former MP Sandeep Dikshit’s remarks that the biggest challenge the party faces was the “leadership question”.
Joining hands with Mr Dikshit, Dr Tharoor tweeted: “What Sandeep Dikshit said openly is what dozens of party leaders from across the country are saying privately, including many with responsible positions in the party.” He further added: “Some have asked who should vote and for what. I was referring to my earlier call eight months ago for elections among the 10,000 party workers who constitute the ‘AICC plus PCC delegates’ list. These should be for the elected seats in the CWC as well as for the party presidency.”
The utterances of Mr Dikshit did not go down well with some leaders. Reacting sharply, party communications chief Randeep Surjewala said: “If (what) Sandeep is putting on Twitter, if he puts even a fraction in his work, he will transform Delhi. Instead of giving gyaan (lecture), concentrate on doing good work.” The outburst by senior leaders comes amid the buzz that Rahul Gandhi will once again become Congress president. Several other senior leaders like Manish Tewari and Jairam Ramesh have also mooted various reforms in the party. But as uncertainity over the leadership prevails, several leaders suggested that Mrs Sonia Gandhi continues as the party chief.
However, Gandhi loyalist Sanjay Nirupam attacked Mr Tharoor, and said that “only Rahul Gandhi can save the party”, and that everything else was “inane discussion”. He added: “No one from outside the (Gandhi) family can lead the Congress at this juncture,” he tweeted. “Other leaders are just group leaders and such leaders at the helm will encourage more groupism. Period!” Mr Nirupam had been sulking during the Maharashtra Assembly elections in October last year as his supporters did not get party tickets. Also, he refused to campaign for the party during the polls.
After the debacle in the Delhi elections, it is open season in the party. Former Delhi in-charge P.C Chacko had blamed late chief minister Sheila Dikshit for the fall in the party’s voteshare, reacting to which Milind Deora had said it was unfortunate to see her being blamed after her death. There is now a wide chasm in the party between those who want Rahul Gandhi to return as party chief and those want the status quo to continue. As the party is not doing well in elections, the gulf is likely to widen in the days to come.