Congress leader P Chidambaram, in an indirect critique of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, told NDTV today that he had warned the Uttar Pradesh leadership to oppose the elections and at the same time rebuild the party. He suggested that the reconstruction come first, he said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her brother, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were in charge of rebuilding the Uttar Pradesh party four years ago, both of whom were clearly speaking during the campaign.
Congress is constantly losing ground in Uttar Pradesh, a state that has not ruled since 1989. In the recently concluded congressional election, the party was virtually eliminated, losing five of the seven seats it won in 2017. a meager 2.4 per cent.
“At UP, we all know that the party has withered over the years,” Mr Chidambaram told NDTV in an exclusive interview, where Gandhi also stressed that they could not be held responsible for the party’s recent election defeats.
“UP leaders tried to do two things at once. The first was to rebuild the party and fight the elections. I warned that both could not be done at the same time. The rebuilding of the party must come first. the election struggles took place at the same time, “he added.
He then said: “So there are serious shortcomings in the party I have pointed out, which have been highlighted by others like (Kapil) Sibal and (Ghulam Nabi) Azad and so we need to address these organizational weaknesses.”
Mr. Azad and Mr. Sibal are among the G-23-appointed dissident leaders who called for profound organizational changes and responsible leadership two years ago.
Amid calls for drastic change since the last defeat, G-23 leaders are holding regular meetings, sparking speculation about a possible split in the party.
Asking the group not to split the party, Mr Chidambaram said: “My appeal would be to return to their constituencies and build the party. Everyone should step back and rebuild the party units.”
Emphasizing that Gandhi accepted responsibility for the failure, Mr. Chidambaram said that was the way he accepted Goa’s responsibility, and they did so with other states.
“No one is shying away from responsibility. But the responsibility is for anyone in a leadership position, be it at the bloc, constituency, state and AICC (All India Congress Committee) level. It is not enough to say that the AICC is a responsible leadership,” he added.