A day after Ghulam Nabi Azad pinned the blame for the party’s 2014 Lok Sabha poll debacle largely on Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Sachin Pilot dubbed it on Saturday as “targeted personal vilification” of the former party chief and said it was wrong to hold one individual responsible for the electoral loss.
Pilot also said the timing of Azad’s letter was “very unfortunate”, when the party is preparing to take on the “misgovernance” of the BJP government, and the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had not fulfilled his responsibility.
“He (Azad) held various posts for over 50 years and now, when there is a need for the country and the party to raise people’s issues, this was uncalled for,” he said.
Asked about Azad’s statement blaming Rahul Gandhi’s action of tearing up a government ordinance in “full glare” of the media for the loss of the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Pilot said it was wrong to pin the blame on individuals.
“All of us in the Congress were associated with and part of the UPA government, including Mr Azad. So singling out a person for the defeat in 2014 would not be right,” he said.
In his resignation letter, Azad brought up Rahul Gandhi tearing up a government ordinance during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) rule and described it as “one of the most glaring examples of immaturity”.
“… This one single action more than anything else contributed significantly to the defeat of the UPA government in 2014,” he said.
Pilot said there was “targeted personal vilification” of Rahul Gandhi in Azad’s letter.
The former Rajasthan deputy chief minister had spoken out against the criticism of the top Congress leadership in Azad’s resignation letter on Friday as well and questioned its timing.
Azad ended his five-decade association with the grand old party on Friday, saying the Congress was comprehensively destroyed and lashing out at Rahul Gandhi for demolishing its entire consultative mechanism.
The Congress, dealing with the fallout of a series of high-profile exits, including that of Kapil Sibal and Ashwani Kumar, attempted to deflect the latest blow by alleging that Azad’s DNA had been “Modi-fied” and linking his resignation to the end of his Rajya Sabha tenure.
Laying bare the many schisms in the party, Azad wrote a five-page no-holds-barred letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, describing her as a nominal figurehead and alleging that all important decisions are being taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather worse, his “security guards and PAs”.
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