New Delhi: Referring to comments made by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, the BJP on Wednesday attacked the opposition party for its lack of leadership and said its own members do not know where their leader, Rahul Gandhi, has gone.
Asserting that the BJP faces no challenge in the upcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana scheduled for October 21, BJP national spokesperson Narendra Taneja said, "You need to exist on the ground to pose any kind of challenge but the Congress is just not there. The morale of their cadre is very low. Their own leader, Salman Khurshid, is saying that Rahul Gandhi is not there. They have no leader and even the party doesn't know where Rahul Gandhi is." Khurshid on Monday said that Gandhi left in a huff after the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, after which his mother Sonia Gandhi was appointed interim president in August until a new chief is chosen by the party, possibly after the October elections. "We haven't really got together to analyse why we were defeated. Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away," Khurshid had said, adding that Gandhi still retains the allegiance of the party.
"It has kind of left a vacuum," Khurshid had said. "Sonia Gandhi stepped in, but there is more than an indication that she is treating herself as a stop-gap arrangement. I wish it wasn't so." Claiming that the Congress is facing an existential crisis, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said the party has accepted defeat in the upcoming Assembly elections even before polling has taken place.
Taking to Twitter, Patra said, "So finally Congress concedes defeat even before the polling in the upcoming Assembly elections! Khurshid agrees Rahul Gandhi has just "Waked [walked] Away" & Sonia Gandhi is just a "Stop-Gap" arrangement." Senior BJP leader and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress does not know where to go as it has been left leaderless. "Rahul Gandhi has left and there are divisions in the party over its policies. They neither have a leader, nor the will to formulate the right policies," he said.
Defending the former Congress chief, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said politicians like Gandhi, who resigned taking moral responsibility, are rare in Indian politics. "Yes, I have heard about the statements by certain leaders. I would say, yes, it would have been good if Rahul Gandhi stayed back as party president. But at the same time, we must also appreciate the example of moral accountability he has set for everybody," said Chowdhury, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal. Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily defended Gandhi's right to take some "rest" from politics. "All of us wanted him to continue but he has chosen to rest for a while, that doesn't mean he has quit. Sonia Gandhi is here now and she is taking responsibility for the party," Moily said.