Congress leaders now jump to Rahul’s defence
With exit polls clearly predicting ouster of the Congress from power, senior party leaders have already started the search for scapegoats to save party vice-president Rahul Gandhi from any blemish for its unprecedented defeat. Gandhi family loyalist, urban development minister Kamal Nath, said on Tuesday that the ‘results will be based on government performance and Rahul Gandhi is not a part of the government.’
Another party leader, minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh, who is viewed as Rahul’s close aide said, ‘Mr Gandhi was an indefatigable campaigner. He held 125 rallies, went to every state. He brought the spirit to our campaign.’ Ramesh said it was the Congress’ ‘gameplan, well thought out,’ that it would not project a personality, alluding to rival BJP’s campaign being built around the persona of Narendra Modi, its prime ministerial candidate.
On a similar note, minister for external affairs Salman Kurshid said, ‘All this discussion is absurd. Rahul Gandhi is our leader and he will remain our leader in good and bad times.’ Rejecting the exit poll predictions which gave Congress poor numbers, Khurshid said, ‘Be that as it may, he (Rahul) is our leader. We repose faith in him.’