New Delhi: Top Congress leaders from across the country Saturday got together to review the party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha election, as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting got underway here. The meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body will go into the reasons behind the party’s debacle and discuss why the party’s poll narrative failed to convince the people.
There were speculations that the Congress president might offer his resignation taking moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the polls. However, a party source said that reports about Gandhi offering to resign “is wrong”.
Attendance at CWC meet
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Uttar Pradesh (East) in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and chief ministers of three party-ruled States — Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh — and of the Union Territory Puducherry are attending the CWC meeting chaired by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Senior leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram was present at the CWC meeting along with his party colleagues like AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sheila Dikshit, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot attended the CWC meeting, too, along with their Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel.
Though the Congress improved on its 2014 tally of 44, it could win just 52 Lok Sabha seats this year. In 18 States and Union Territories, the party could not open its account.
Murmurs are already heard within the party over taking responsibility for its poor performance, with some of its leaders sending in their resignations.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar and Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik have announced their resignations from the post.
Randeep Surjewala, Congress: Party President Rahul Gandhi offered his resignation but it was rejected by the members of CWC unanimously. pic.twitter.com/aXLjPa72aj
— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2019
Three off-the-record reasons at CWC
Out of all the members of the Congress that attended the CWC meet, some spoke to the media under the condition of anonymity. They identified three issues.
Several leaders of the committee expressed the view that party president Rahul Gandhi’s “chowkidar chor hai” campaign was negative, which is always a bad poll strategy. A chief minister who lost the election said their supreme leader sounded “monotonous” with his attacks on Modi. The CM refused to be named.
2. Questioning Indian armed forces
The leaders said further that it was wrong of the Congress to question Indian armed forces’ losses in Pulwama and retaliation in Balakot.
3. Rahul is a disaster
Another chief minister said under the condition of anonymity that it was “difficult” to revive the Congress with Rahul Gandhi remaining at the helm. He burst out against the “entitlement politics” the party practices that does not go down well with the people, especially the youth.