Bangalore, Nov 18: Days after senior Congress leader and general secretary Digvijay Singh asked Rahul Gandhi to take the party affairs more seriously, now Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah advised Congress vice president to be more assertive.
Siddaramaiah's statement comes a week after the Congress issued a gag for its party members to refrain from giving their suggestions to the Gandhi scion in public.
However, the local party leaders in the state have downplayed the Karnataka CM's statement saying he made such a comment to deflect the growing dissidence against him in the state unit.
Earlier, senior party leaders like P Chidambaram, Hansraj Bhardwaj and Digvijaya Singh came up with comments that appeared to be questioning the Congress's poster boy's style of functioning.
Last month, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram had suggested both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi to "speak more" and put in action a timetable that would enable the party to play the role of "true opposition" at a time when the morale of party cadres is "pretty low".
Ex-law minister during UPA regime and Karnataka Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj, also questioned Rahul's leadership in the Congress and also said that Priyanka Gandhi could be the best possible anchor for the sinking ship of Congress now.
"When I was in Karnataka, I saw Rahul is not capable of addressing a mass audience," said Bhardwaj. About Priyanka he said, "I have no doubt that if she roams around, she can involve the masses and revive the party. She resembles her grandmother Indira Gandhi."
Recentrly, a Congress MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Banda district texted Rahul and called for revamping the organisation for strengthening the party to fight the challenge posed by a resurgent BJP in UP or join hands with ruling Samajwadi Party to take on the communal forces.
Jolted by the exit of senior Congress leader GK Vasan over 'mishandling' of party affairs, Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram and a Tamil face of the party, disapproved of the role of high command's observers in managing affairs of the states.
All this reflects the growing dissent within the Congress which is facing a major credibility crisis in the country.