”Elections are not fought from five-star hotels, we can’t win until we change this culture,” asserted veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, days after the grand old party was decimated in the recently concluded Bihar Assembly polls. Notably, the Congress managed to win only 19 of the 70 seats it had contested in Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections, down from its previous tally of 27 seats out of 41 it had fought in the 2015 Assembly polls in the state.
Speaking to ANI, on the party’s debacle Azad said, “The problem with our leaders is that if they get a party ticket, they first book a five-star hotel. Even there they want a deluxe place. Then they will not move without an air-conditioned car. They will not go to places where there is an untarred road.”
He, however, gave a clean chit to the party leadership saying that the leadership could not conduct a party election due to COVID-19 but suggested it could be held within the next six months when the pandemic eases.
“We all are worried about losses, especially about Bihar and by-polls results. I don’t blame the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Office-bearers should understand that their responsibility begins with their appointment. They should love the party. I quote a couplet: ‘Ye ishq nahi aasaan, bas itna samajh lije. Ik aag ka darya hai aur doob ke jaana hai’. Love should be for one’s party, profession and country”, he added.
Furthermore, Azad conceded that BJP has an advantage that it has a system and Congress needs to set up a system of its own. “I am not saying that workers are to blame for the party’s debacle. Leaders come up on their own. Modiji came up on his own. We being in the opposition are worried about the country. We need to change the system. BJP’s advantage is that it has a system. Whether it be Atalji, Advaniji, or any other leader, they work according to the system of the RSS,” he stated.
Earlier, veteran Congress leader Kapil Sibal had criticised his party’s workings, saying that people of the country, don’t consider the grand old party to be an ‘effective alternative’ anymore.’
Commenting on the party’s downfall since the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Sibal had said,”If for six years the Congress has not introspected what hope do we have for introspection now? We know what is wrong with Congress. Organisationally, we know what is wrong. I think we have all the answers. The Congress party itself knows all the answers. But they are not willing to recognise those answers.”
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