No questions can be raised on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s leadership in the Congress, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after the Grand Old Party’s dismal show across the five states which recently witnessed assembly elections.
Talking to News18 ahead of the Congress Working Commitee meeting, Gehlot said the Congress had lost in Punjab due its internal fighting. The state of Punjab, previously under Congress rule, had seen massive infighting between Navjot Singh Sidhu and then CM Capt Amarinder Singh, who was later replaced with Charanjit Singh Channi.
Gehlot has himself earlier gone through internal party rebellion with Sachin Pilot, but intervention by the Congress leadership helped placate the crisis.
“There are ups and downs in elections. We have seen the time when Bharatiya Janata Party got 2 seats. If you talk about Hindutva, polarisation, it is easy to win elections,” he said.
“The kind of politics that has been going on inside the country for the last seven years is out in the open. History is witness to the fact that many things are done in the name of religion. But it is easy to start a fire and difficult to put it out,” Gehlot said, adding that it was the “BJP’s job is to set fire, whether it was in UP or Uttarakhand.”
The Congress CM claimed that the Constitution was being flouted and that public institutions such as the Election Commission, Judiciary, CBI, Income Tax and media were being used by the BJP for its own gains. “Unknowingly, the media is playing a huge role for them,” he said.
“We have made mistakes in Punjab. People did not like the internal battle of Congress. Everyone fights elections together and everyone participates. If there is politics in the name of polarization, casteism and religion then such results will come. Don’t panic, the final victory will be of truth,” he said.
But Gehlot acknowledged that the dismal results necessitated deep contemplation. “We have lost the election, so it is our duty to think and brainstorm,” he said.
The CM also took a dig at the BJP on its slam of ‘dynasty politics’ of the Congress, saying it was the saffron party which took former Congress leaders into its fold.
He said Rahul Gandhi should take upon the leadership of the party, as “only he could counter Modi” and asked why it was that the PM only targeted Rahul, too.
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