31 Jul 2020: Team Rahul blames Old Guard for decline at Congress meet
A virtual meeting of Congress parliamentarians on Thursday turned into a war of words between leaders, said to be close to ex-party President Rahul Gandhi, and the ministers of UPA-II, who worked under former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, multiple reports said.
The younger lot blamed the old guard for the party's decline since 2014, when BJP rose to power.
Here are more details.
Meeting: Meeting was convened to discuss current situation, blame-game started
The meeting was convened by interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, to discuss the political scenario in the country, coronavirus pandemic, the poor state of the economy, and the tensions with China.
Few politicians lamented how Congress is failing to connect with people, but Team Rahul's derivations from the current crisis steered the conversation to another direction.
Dr. Singh was reportedly unhappy with the remarks.
What happened: Sibal and Chidambaram faced taunts from Rahul's aides
At the meeting, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal raised questions over the party's style of functioning and said there was an urgent need for introspection.
Soon, newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav said UPA-II ruined party's prospects, bringing its tally to 44, reports The Hindu.
When ex-Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Congress failed to oppose BJP, KC Venugopal, another aide of Rahul, blamed UPA-II.
Fact: Satav asked why Congress failed in Maharashtra and Delhi
Asserting that young v/s old debate wasn't important, Satav said, "We need to analyze the role of how the Congress performed in the UPA period, why didn't ministers meet workers and why did they lose touch with reality. Why party failed in Maharashtra and Delhi?"
Details: Reportedly, Dr. Singh remained quiet during verbal duel of partymen
In fact, when Chidambaram pointed out that despite not handling the COVID-19 pandemic well, BJP still enjoyed public support and Congress wasn't doing much to change that, Venugopal hit back drawing attention towards the social media campaigns being run.
"The party organization was not weak and was doing its best," he reportedly said.
While leaders indulged in arguments, Dr. Singh remained silent, claimed reports.
Demand: Some leaders opined Rahul must be back on top post
It is reported that politicians like Abhishek Singhvi, Digvijaya Singh, Venugopal, and Satav, suggested bringing Rahul back as the President.
To recall, after last year's humiliating defeat Rahul quit as Congress President, and the party took months to find his replacement.
In the meantime, Sonia got the reins. Interestingly, it has been almost a year, and Congress is yet to "find" Rahul's successor.
Plans: At meeting, Deepender Hooda advised against taking contradictory stand
On what needs to be done immediately, senior leader Ahmed Patel said Congress must assess the new National Education Policy (NEP) religiously.
Meanwhile, Haryana MP Deepender Hooda said CWC had welcomed last year's historic verdict of the Supreme Court pertaining to Ayodhya dispute.
Now, that the ground-breaking ceremony is being held on August 5, the party shouldn't take a contradictory stand, he cautioned.