“Some Of Us Behave Like We’re Still Ministers”: Congress Turmoil Grows



'Some Of Us Behave Like We're Still Ministers': Congress Turmoil Grows

Jyotiraditya Scindia said Congress needs a new approach and a new way of doing things.

New Delhi:

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia today called the party’s Delhi election debacle “extremely disappointing” and called for a “new approach”, joining the rapidly growing league of party leaders calling for change. Another leader, Jairam Ramesh, said the party needed to “ruthlessly reinvent itself” to stay relevant and commented that “some of us” behave as if “we are still ministers” even six years after losing power.

“Congress leaders have to reinvent themselves. Otherwise, we are staring at irrelevance. Our arrogance has to go, even after six years out of power sometimes, some of us behave as if we are still ministers,” Mr Ramesh said, adding that the “substance and style” of the party’s leadership had to change.

Right after the election results, Jyotiraditya Scindia had congratulated Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its 62/70 sweep and said the people of Delhi had placed their “trust” on their team again.

“The results are extremely disappointing. Congress needs a new approach, a new way of doing things…we strongly need a new approach. Times have changed, the country has changed. We’ll have to reach out to people. After the Lok Sabha polls, we have formed governments in few states,” said Mr Scindia, who is said to be close to the Gandhis.

The Congress, jolted by its second straight duck in Delhi — which it ruled for three straight terms till 2013 — has lapsed into a blame-game in which even Sheila Dikshit – the widely respected three-time chief minister who died last year – has not been spared.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi last night accepted the resignation of PC Chacko – the party’s Delhi in-charge – and Subhash Chopra, who headed the Delhi Congress unit.

Mr Chacko resigned after making the shocking remark that the party’s “downfall” started when Sheila Dikshit was Chief Minister and AAP was born.

“The downfall of the Congress party started in 2013 when Sheila ji was the CM. The emergence of a new party, AAP took away the entire Congress vote bank. We could never get it back. It still remains with AAP,” Mr Chacko told ANI.

He was schooled by Maharashtra Congress leader Milind Deora, who called Sheila Dikshit a remarkable politician and administrator and said it was “unfortunate to see her being blamed after her death.”

Several Congress leaders said after its decimation in Delhi, the party needed “action” rather than “introspection”.

When senior leader P Chidambaram praised AAP, he was told off by his junior colleague Sharmistha Mukherjee.

Later, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said criticized the blame-game and said it would be “better if Congress leaders had looked at, introspected on their own role, their own responsibility, their own commitment to the party and defined their own duty towards the campaign in Delhi.”

Mr Surjewala admitted that the party would go back to the drawing board and there would be a revamp in the Delhi unit.

The Congress fielded 66 candidates and 63 forfeited their deposit, which means they did not win even one-sixth of the votes in their constituencies. Its vote share also dropped to the lowest since the 1990s.

Senior leader Veerappa Moily called for a “surgical” action to revive the party in the context of the Delhi election drubbing.


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