New Delhi: Amid rumblings within the party after a disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress chief is said to have accused three senior leaders of placing their respective sons above the party while his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has alleged the entire top-brass left him alone to fight it out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party sources said.
Narrating inside details of the crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, which was held on Saturday to assess the partyâs poll rout, the party leaders said Rahul Gandhi did a lot of âplain-speakingâ in his surgical analysis of the role of several party leaders while himself offering to quit as the party president.
He also said he does not want any other member of the Gandhi family to succeed him, virtually ruling out Priyanka as well for the top party position.
Party sources said the top leadership is working out possible strategies for its future course of action, even as there are rumblings within the Congress over the turn of events at the CWC meeting.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of the Congress winning just 52 Lok Sabha seats and drawing a nought in 18 states and Union Territories.
Mr Gandhi himself lost from the family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, though he won from Wayanad in Kerala.
Stating that Priyanka lost her cool more than once during the four-hour long CWC deliberations, a party leader present there said the AICC general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said, âAll those responsible for the partyâs defeat are sitting in this roomâ.
When some party leaders were trying to convince Mr Gandhi to take back his resignation, which he had offered taking moral responsibility for the Congress debacle, Priyanka is learnt to have intervened saying, âWhere were you when my brother was fighting all by himself and alone?â
Priyanka sat through the meeting, looking visibly anguished, and interjected twice at least, while saying on one occasion, âNo one supported the Congress president in taking forward the narrative of Rafale and chowkidar chor haiâ.
Mr Gandhi, who left the meeting abruptly and was adamant there on not continuing as the Congress president, also ticked off three senior party leaders â former union minister P. Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot â saying they placed their sons before party interests.
Mr Chidambaramâs son Karti and Mr Nathâs son Nakul managed to win the Lok Sabha elections from their respective seats, but Mr Gehlotâs son Vaibhav lost.
CWC sources said that when former Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia urged Mr Gandhi to strengthen the state leaderships of the party, the party president quipped looking at Mr Chidambaram, saying that âMr Chidambaram threatened to resign if a ticket was denied to his sonâ.
About Mr Nath, who was absent from the CWC meeting, Mr Gandhi said, âMr Nath said how could he be the CM if his son was not fielded.â
Taunting Mr Gehlot, the Congress president said the Rajasthan CM spent seven days campaigning for his son in Jodhpur neglecting the rest of the state.
Mr Gandhi is learnt to have voiced his disappointment at the state of affairs in the party when he said to the CWC why canât anyone else be Congress chief.
Sources said Priyanka also urged her brother not to resign saying it would be like âfalling into BJPâs trapâ.
Mr Gandhi also expressed his displeasure at not being supported in the Rafale campaign and is said to have asked the party leaders present in the meeting how many of them backed him in building the corruption narrative against Prime Minister Modi. When some leaders raised their hands to say that they spoke about Rafale, Mr Gandhi is said to have dismissed them.