By Anand Singh
Amethi, May 30 (IANS) Almost a week after defeat of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the family pocket borough of Amethi against BJP’s candidate Smriti Irani, party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s team members on Thursday arrived here to find the reasons for the rout.
“Kishori Lal Sharma and Zubair Khan, secretary of the party and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, respectively, have arrived here to find out the reasons for the defeat,” a senior party leader told IANS.
According to party leaders, Sharma was earlier in-charge of Amethi, however, he was shifted to Rae Bareli after the new team of Rahul Gandhi took over. Under Sharma, the party was able to save its fort in Rae Bareli where United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and senior party leader Sonia Gandhi won by a margin of 1.67 lakh votes.
The party leader said Sharma and Khan will meet the party workers and supporters to know the reason for the party’s debacle in Amethi. Once they collect feedback, they will submit their report to Rahul Gandhi.
According to party leaders, the new team of Rahul Gandhi in Amethi was led by Chandrakant Dubey, who was Gandhi’s representative in his Lok Sabha seat. Dubey along with the Rahul Gandhi’s team were blamed for the party’s poor performance on the home turf of Amethi where he lost by a margin of 55,000 votes.
After the defeat of the Congress in Amethi, many leaders have accused Dubey, district President Yogendra Mishra (who resigned a day after Rahul Gandhi lost) of working for the BJP.
With the party’s loss, questions have also been raised on the personal team of Rahul Gandhi, who handled his communication and publicity campaign since 2012.
The Congress leaders requesting anonymity said that many in Rahul’s team did not “give him the real picture of the ground situation and presented him a differemnt data.”
The persons in Rahul’s team included: Alankar, K. Raju, Kaushal Vidyarthi, Sandeep Singh (former AISA JNU leader, who showed black flags to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh), Nikhil Alva, Sachin Rao, Praveen Chakraborty (who was the brain behind the party’s Shakti app), Varad Pandey (former special advisor to Jairam Ramesh when he was the rural development minister) and Kanishka Singh.
The party leader said that the Shakti platform also failed miserably as it gave the leadership a false impression of the party’s strengths and weaknesses on the ground.
The party leaders also complained that the “insiders” also participated in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top decision making body, without being its member.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])