In a scathing indictment of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s leadership abilities, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that the Gandhi scion lacks the consistency needed to be accepted by the country as its leader.
In an interview with Lokmat Media chairman and former MP Vijay Darda, Pawar said that there are issues with Rahul Gandhi’s consistency. When asked if the country is ready to accept the Wayanad MP as the country’s leader, Pawar responded, “There are some questions in this regard. There seems to be less consistency.”
It is pertinent to note that Sharad Pawar’s NCP is in alliance with the Congress party and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government that is currently governing the state.
Pawar slams Obama for crossing the “limit” of commenting on foreign leadership
However, Pawar was disapproving of Obama’s unfavourable view on Rahul Gandhi. Obama, in his recently published memoir, has said that the Congress leader appeared to be like a student eager to impress the teacher but lacking aptitude and passion to master the subject. Responding to Obama’s remarks, Pawar said that it is not important to accept everybody’s view.
Slamming Obama for his “presumptuous” remarks on Gandhi, Pawar said, “I can say anything about the leadership in our country. But I will not comment on the leadership in another country. One should maintain that limit….I think Obama crossed that limit,” he said.
When asked about Congress’ future and if Rahul Gandhi was becoming a “burden’ for the party, Pawar appeared to speak in defence of the Wayanad MP, saying that a hallmark of a leader is the acceptance he or she has within the organisation.
“I have differences with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her family but even today scores of Congressmen have a sense of affection towards the Gandhi family,” the NCP chief responded, implying that Gandhis are best to lead the Congress party.
Congress defends Rahul Gandhi after remarks by Sharad Pawar, says he is more consistent than any other opposition party leader
The Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant was circumspect in giving a reaction on Pawar’s remarks on Rahul Gandhi. Sawant said, ” We don’t know in what context Pawar saheb has made the comments. However, to be specific, the Congress and our leader Rahul Gandhi has been more consistent than any other party in its opposition to RSS and the Modi government.
Rahul Gandhi is one of the very few politicians who have the uncompromising courage to speak against the current regime in the country, especially when it is shamelessly muzzling the voice of the opposition, trampling democratic norms while constitutional institutions are watching helplessly, having lost their independence and credibility.”
Mounting internal dissent within the Congress party against the Gandhis
Though Congress has come out in defence of Rahul Gandhi, there have been growing clamour within the party against the leadership. Rahul Gandhi, who quit the Presidency of the Congress party after a disastrous poll debacle in the 2019 General Assembly elections, has been facing dissent from party members as rumours of his return gathers momentum. Several party members, including senior party loyalists, shot of a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in August 2020, demanding sweeping changes in the party. The rumblings have been bolstered by the embarrassing poll drubbing in the recently concluded Bihar elections.
According to several reports, 23 senior Congress leaders had written a letter to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi demanding that an immediate CWC meeting be called to discuss the poll debacle in Bihar. They have reportedly also demanded organisational elections for the party president’s post be held at the earliest in the view of the electoral drubbing.
The letter reportedly points to the fact that at the peak of Bihar campaigning and even on result day, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were holidaying in Shimla instead of being with the party and leading the way.