Kerala leader’s ‘joker’ dig at Rahul recoils

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi :  The remark by a Congress leader in Kerala T H Mustafa that Rahul Gandhi was a “joker” and he should be removed if he does not resign boomeranged on the former with the party suspending him with immediate effect.

The Congress and its UDF allies have done relatively well in Kerala bagging 12 of the 20 seats at stake. However, the party suffered some glaring losses with the LDF wresting its traditional strongholds like Idukki and Chalakkudi.

Mustafa, a former state minister, made the remark at a news conference in Kochi. ‘‘Rahul behaved like a joker and that’s the reason why the Congress suffered a major reversal in the Lok Sabha polls. The role of a prime minister is not child’s play and the people knew it and handed out the worst defeat to the Congress party.

He should take responsibility and quit and, if not, he should be removed and Priyanka Gandhi should be made the new president of the party,” he said.

“His (Rahul’s) mad style of working using computer and internet and in the company of a group of CWC members who only praise whatever he does has caused this defeat. It’s unfortunate that even AK Antony belongs to this group,” said Mustafa, a former minister in the K Karunakaran cabinet (1991-95) and five-time legislator, known for openly attacking top leaders of his party.

Senior Congress leader and former union minister Mani

Shankar Aiyar disagreed with Mustafa’s assessment. “I do not agree with what a senior Kerala leader has said about Rahul,” he said in Nagpur.

On change of party leadership, Aiyar said, “Congress had done badly in the regimes of prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and also under P V Narasimha Rao. But at no time did the question of change of leadership crop up”.

Backing Sonia and Rahul to the hilt, Aiyar questioned whether parties like SP and BSP, who too had got bruised in polls, have changed their top leadership? – Input PTI

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