A senior Congress leader from Bihar attributes the party’s poor show in the just-concluded Assembly election to the outsiders from Delhi who managed the poll campaign from hotels, hopping around in helicopters without even knowing names of the constituencies.
“Rahul Gandhi talks of parachute candidates, but what we saw in Bihar were not only parachute candidates but parachute politics and parachute culture. We contested 70 seats, knowing well at least 35 candidates would not win under any circumstances,” the party leader said.
He said: “We were treated as though we had all been infected with Coronavirus. While 2-3 leaders from Bihar were indeed part of election management, around a dozen seniors were deliberately kept out and instead a team was sent from Delhi. We watched on TV individuals, who had never come to Bihar in the past, landing and taking off in helicopters at places they didn’t know names of.”
AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, a former union minister and the political secretary of late Congress president Sitaram Kesari, is one such senior leader from Bihar who was not consulted. He tweeted: “We should accept the truth. Bihar was denied a Mahagathbandhan government because of the poor performance of the Congress.”
Such a harsh comment openly aired by an AICC office-bearer calls for what he demands an “introspection” to find out what went wrong. He could not resist from speaking out what is being whispered in the Congress circles. Shakeel, however, refused to speak on other issues, saying the post-mortem has to be only in a party forum.
Another AICC member regretted: “There was no state Congress executive; the party operated through a clique. Local leaders were not involved. No discussion took place in the state unit.”
Asked as to what next, he said: “Rahul Gandhi should call 200 important party workers and leaders from Bihar and honestly discuss the murky affairs for two days. All truths will come out.”
Among the parachute leaders under attack is AICC general secretary and media incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala, an ex-MLA from Haryana and a blue-eyed boy of Rahul.
He was stationed in Patna to manage the party campaign, not knowing the local leaders, nor the places.
Will Rahul question him? He is among not many leaders who hold dual positions. He continues as head of the AICC media department even after becoming the AICC general secretary.