Joining senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal in criticism of his own party, former finance minister P Chidambaram, in an interview to newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, said that the Bihar elections and the by-election results indicate that the Congress party either has zero organisational presence on the ground or that it has weakened considerably.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reportedly said that those criticising the Congress can join some other party or start a new one instead of indulging in “embarrassing activities”.
P Chidambaram suggested that the Congress party might have contested more seats in the state than it is should have.
“I am more worried about the bypoll results in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. These results show that the party either has no organisational presence on the ground or has been weakened considerably,” said Chidambaram.
“In Bihar, the RJD-Congress had a chance of winning. Why we lost despite being so close to victory is something that needs comprehensive review. Remember, not long ago the Congress had won Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.”
On being asked about the Congress being considered the weakest link in the Tejaswi Yadav-led Mahagathbandhan, the former finance minister said:
“I feel the Congress contested more seats than its organisational strength. The Congress was given 25 seats where the BJP or its allies had been winning for 20 years. The Congress should have refused to contest from these seats. The party should have fielded only 45 candidates.”
Chidamabaram also spoke about upcoming polls in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengal and Assam and said: “Let us see what the results are in these states.”
On being asked about Rahul Gandhi’s call for a non-Gandhi to lead the party, Chidambaram said:
“I can’t say who will be chosen president in the AICC (All India Congress Committee) meeting. Anyone can contest the polls.”