Former Union External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh criticised Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today, saying that the former party president along with “two other” leaders are responsible for the problems that the INC is facing. The veteran INC politician blamed Rahul Gandhi directly but did not name the two other leaders. He also said that Rahul Gandhi has no designation within the party but “continues to call the shots”.
“It’s not alright at all, there are three people responsible, one of them is Rahul Gandhi who doesn’t even hold any designation, and he is calling the shots,” the veteran politician said.
Natwar Singh’s public criticism of Rahul Gandhi comes at a time when the party is facing a leadership crisis in Punjab and murmurs of discord are also being heard from Chhattisgarh, states where the party is in power with a majority. There were also similar murmurs in Rajasthan, where there are differences between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, but no recent developments happened over the past few days.
Yesterday, Kapil Sibal, another veteran INC leader, had echoed concerns similar to Natwar Singh’s, saying that the party lacks a leader. He said that the “G 23” group of INC leaders, a name that represents a group of senior party leaders who seek to question the direction India’s oldest political organisation is taking — will continue to flag issues and raise questions.
The Punjab crisis put the spotlight on the INC as the state saw the removal of Capt Amarinder Singh from the position of chief minister. Singh, an INC veteran, said that he wishes to leave the party. He also said that he felt “humiliated” by the way he was treated. Punjab Congress is in an unsettled state due to Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation from the post of Punjab Congress chief, a position to which he was elevated only two months earlier. Sidhu also rebelled against former chief minister Amarinder Singh and expressed his disapproval towards his mode of governance.
Other senior INC leaders, however, asked their colleagues to exercise restraint while criticising fellow leaders. Party spokesperson Pawan Khera urged the party leaders not to go public with the internal matters of the party, saying that it could affect the morale of ground-level workers.