'Rootless wonders' in party responsible for Cong rout: Deo
New Delhi: Lashing out at ‘rootless wonders and spineless creepers’ for his party's plight, senior Congress leader Kishore Chandra Deo said the Congress would not have come to such a pass if Rahul Gandhi had ensured implementation of even half the promises made after he became vice-president.
Deo, an outgoing Union minister who lost in the recent Lok Sabha polls after being elected to the House for five terms, urged party president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to introspect on how to "emancipate the Grand Old Party from the clutches of rootless wonders and spineless creepers, who have held sway for more than two decades and have brought the party to such a pass".
In an interview to PTI, Deo recalled that Rahul said much at Jaipur after becoming vice-president. "If 50 per cent of it was decided by the party, this situation would not have arisen," Deo said.
Alleging there was a ‘stranglehold’ on power, held by a small group of people, within the party, Deo made a strong pitch for Rahul, as also Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, to work to "free the Congress from these chains and shackles."
The Tribal Affairs Minister said there was "crisis of credibility" as regards the Congress-led coalition, in the wake of increasing prices of essential commodities and also a number of corruption and scams. The party and the government failed to effectively counter propaganda on issues through their words and deeds, he said.
Making a serious charge on the state of party affairs in Seemandhra, he alleged the "Congress was politically mortgaged and sold out to Jagan, YSR Congress and its fifth column."
Alleging total mismanagement on the part of the party, Deo said while the understanding of the political situation was "poor", the AICC in-charge for the state also gave a "wrong briefing" to the Congress President. He said that even notes sent by him on various issues to the party chief had "no effect at all".
He said the general feeling was so negative. "The general impression was that Congress has conceded the plank of the party to the YSR Congress in the belief that Jaganmohan Reddy could be managed or manipulated later. These things do not work out.
He said in Seemandhra, the Congress had accepted defeat even before it fought the poll battle.
This, he said, led to fielding of several weak candidates in many assembly segments and the funding from AICC was also "miserable".
As against this, there was no dearth of resources for other two parties--TDP and YSR Congress, which also had well oiled party machineries, he said, adding, "The writing was there on the wall."
Congress could not secure a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls in Seemandhra having 25 seats and also fared poorly in the Assembly polls. The Congress leader said that in Kerala and Karnataka, Congress had "good" Chief Ministers and "they delivered results. Proof of the pudding is in the eating." Of the total tally of 44 of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Karnataka accounts for 9 and Kerala 8.
Speaking generally of the party, he said it appeared that the party structure failed to give proper feedback to the leadership.