New Delhi: Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee on Wednesday lashed out at her senior party colleague P. Chidambaram for gloating over Aam Aadmi Party’s victory.
Mukherjee, who is the daughter of once veteran Congress leader and former President Pranab Mukherjee, said: “With due respect, sir, just want to know — has Congress outsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties?
“If not, then why are we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned about our drubbing? And if ‘yes’, then we (PCCs) might as well close shop.”
Her remarks in reply to the former Finance Minister’s taunt at the BJP for its defeat saying AAP won and the “bluff and bluster” lost.
In a tweet, Chidambaram said, “AAP won, bluff and bluster lost. The people of Delhi, who are from all parts of India, have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP.
“I salute the people of Delhi who have set an example to other states that will hold their elections in 2021 and 2022,” he said.
This is the first strong message from a Congress leader indicating that all is not well within the grand old party.
On Tuesday, Mukherjee, who had contested unsuccessfully from Greater Kailash Assembly seat in the 2015 polls, also said “enough of introspection” and “time for action now”.
She blamed the lack of strategy and unity, delay in decision-making at the top level and at the state level for the continuous party debacle.
“We are again decimated in Delhi. Enough of introspection, time for action now. Inordinate delay in decision making at the top, lack of strategy and unity at the state level, demotivated workers, no grassroots connect-all are factors. Being part of the system, I too take my share of responsibility,” Mukherjee said in a tweet.
This was Congress’ third dismal performance in the national capital. The party despite ruling the city for 15 years from 1998 to 2013, was reduced to eight seats in the 2013 assembly polls. The party scored nil in the 2015 assembly polls.
Following the drubbing in the assembly polls, Congress Delhi unit chief Subhash Chopra resigned as expected even as knives were out for the resignation of the party’s Delhi affairs in-charge P.C. Chacko, who has been blamed for the dismal electoral show.
Though Chopra did not get sufficient time to gear up for the Delhi electoral battle, it’s a tradition with the party that the state unit owns up to the defeat.
The Congress has been a divided house in Delhi ever since 2010 when a section of the party tried to dislodge Sheila Dikshit.
The bitterness between the two factions still persists as leaders from her camp blame the other for the rout of the party in these elections.
The AAP swept the Delhi Assembly elections on Tuesday as it bagged 62 of 70 seats, while the BJP got eight.