Congress President Rahul Gandhi has accused former Union minister P Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of placing their sons above the party during the Lok Sabha polls, PTI reported on Sunday. Gandhi reportedly made the remark during the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Saturday.
P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidamabaram and Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath were elected from constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Bhopal. However, Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot lost the polls. The Congress ended up winning just 52 seats nationwide, a mere eight seats more than its tally in 2014.
“Chidambaram threatened to resign if a ticket was denied to his son,” Gandhi reportedly said at the meeting. “Nath said how could he be CM if his son was not fielded.” The Congress chief also accused Ashok Gehlot of spending a week campaigning in Jodhpur for his son, neglecting the rest of the state.
The Congress drew a blank in Rajasthan’s 25 seats and won just one seat out of 29 in Madhya Pradesh despite being in power in both states.
At the meeting, the Congress Working Committee rejected Gandhi’s offer to resign as party chief. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also urged her brother not to step down, saying it would be like “falling into BJP’s trap”, unidentified party leaders told PTI. However, Rahul Gandhi clarified that he does not want any other member of his family to succeed him as the Congress chief.
Gandhi also blamed Congress leaders for not supporting him in his campaign to show that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was guilty of corruption in the Rafale deal. Priyanka Gandhi reportedly backed her brother. “All those responsible for the party’s defeat are sitting in this room,” she said. “Where were you when my brother was fighting all by himself and alone? No one supported Congress president in taking forward the narrative of Rafale and ‘chowkidar chor hai’.”
Sources said Priyanka also urged her brother not to resign saying it would be like ‘falling into BJP’s trap.
Congress Worst Defeat
The Congress has suffered a crushing defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In first back-to-back majority in the Lok Sabha polls for a single party in over three decades, the Modi-led BJP won 303 seats out of 542 in the Lok Sabha polls, handing out a crushing defeat to the Congress and many other political opponents.
Congress, which had managed to recover some ground in assembly elections after facing a rout in 2014, has once again failed to reassert itself as a national party.
In 2019, the Congress failed to capture the voters’ confidence despite promising several new schemes such as NYAY and an end to the “politics of hate”. The 52-seat Congress tally is in itself embarrassing for the national party, given the fact that it will now not be able to elect a Leader of Opposition.