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Sonia, Rahul Gandhi should take 2-year break, says congressman from Punjab

PTI 02 Aug 2014, 14:53:20 PM IST
PTI
New Delhi: Former Congress Working Committee member Jagmit Singh Brar on Friday created a flutter with his remarks that there was "no harm" if Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi take a two-year break in the wake of Lok Sabha poll debacle.

Brar, a former MP from Punjab also said that all general secretaries of the AICC should have resigned by now after the worst drubbing of Congress and the party mantle be handed over to a new set of leaders.

Brar, who has been sulking for long, is the first Congress leader, who has demanded that the Gandhis should be out of leadership even for a brief period.

The Congress leader at the same time said that whatever he was saying was as a Congressman, who has spent years in the party and he believes that Gandhis can stage a comeback after a brief respite and in the meantime, some leader can head the party.

He, was, however, unsparing in his criticism of the "advisors" of the leadership saying they did not allow party workers to interact with the leadership and they should immediately quit.

"It's a collective responsibility. I am not saying put the blame on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi only. Everybody has to take responsibility. They are also responsible. What I am saying is that if a person has remained party President for so many years, there is no harm if he or she takes a cool off period for two years.

"I am also saying that Congress President has contributed her best. But if she leaves the post for two years as a cool off period, she will be more acceptable later on," Brar said.

Asked whether he was demanding that Sonia and Rahul should quit the party, he said, "I did not say this. What I said is that there is no harm if they take a break for two years, some kind of a cool off period."

Brar also came out in full support of dissident partyman from Haryana Chaudhary Birender Singh, who was yesterday dropped from the CWC in the wake of his meeting with the BJP President Amit Shah.

"Any action against Birender Singh will be improper as Singh is not only a leader of Haryana but leader of all farmers in North India," he said.

Brar wanted immediate convening of a Chintan Shivir to deliberate the future of the party.

"Few big persons, who have occupied the party for a long time should immediately quit from their posts. Those who hugely benefited from the leadership are today speaking against it.

"Had the same people, put in their papers, the party could have come back to power by the dint of hard work of partymen," Brar said.

 
Meanwhile, former MP and party spokesperson Raj Babbar today said that everyone should take responsibility for the defeat, but stressed that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi's support was needed “far more than before” to help re-establish the party.

He was speaking after former Congress Working Committee member Jagmit Singh Brar yesterday created a flutter with his remarks that there was “no harm” if Sonia and Rahul take a two-year break in the wake of Lok Sabha poll debacle.

His party colleague and former Minister Manish Tewari, however said, the finger-pointing should be avoided.
“What Brar has said that everyone should take theresponsibility, there is no second thought about it.
Obviously, everyone should take responsibility. But as far as Soniaji and Rahulji are concerned, in today's scenario if Congress has to re-establish itself, their contribution and their support is needed far more than before,” Babbar said.

Citing reasons for the Congress debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, the actor-turned-politician said, “The foremost reason is that in our government, the Ministers we had, their arrogance, their behaviour degraded the image of Congress in the eyes of the people.”

 Tewari said the results of Lok Sabha elections were not up to the expectations of the party, “but that does not mean that we start indulging and make allegations.”

 He said there is a larger challenge of fundamentalism and communalism facing the country. He called for all right-thinking, progressive and secular parties and people to come together, saying as Congress has been the central point of politics of pluralism.

”Therefore, it is very essential that the Congress closes ranks, it remains united and this unnecessary finger pointing is completely avoided,” Tewari said.

In his outburst, Brar had sought to blame all party general secretaries for the Congress debacle and said they should have resigned by now after the worst drubbing of Congress. He had also demanded handing over the party's mantle to a new set of leaders. BJP, however, took pot-shots at the Congress saying it can only hope for a a revival if it is freed from the “hands of the Nehru-Gandhi” family and handed over to the common party workers.