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Is this the beginning of open rebellion against Rahul Gandhi in Congress

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New Delhi, Nov 03: Open criticism of Rahul Gandhi by Congress workers and blaming the former party president for the debacle in election after the election seems to have begun. A former aide of Rahul Gandhi, Pankaj Shankar, on Sunday said that Rahul Gandhi has been in politics for 15 years and under him the Congress' seat count fell from 3 digits to 2 digits.

Shankar had called Rahul Gandhi a political intern and the former aide said today "It is an internship which isn't concluding"

Rahul Gandhi

"He has been in politics for 15 years now. We have fallen from 3 digits to 2 digits (in seat count) under whose leadership? Everyone knows about it. It is an internship which isn't concluding," news agency ANI quoted Pankaj Shankar as saying.

Congress was reduced to 52 Lok Sabha seats in the May Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi lost his family bastion Amethi Lok Sabha seat and failed to stop or even slow down the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut which under the leadership of PM Modi won 303 seats, which is 21 seats more than what the party won in 2014.

["Is Rahul Gandhi involved in some secret operation?" BJP asks]

"He came into active politics in 2004, it's 2019 now. There have been experiments in Youth Congress and NSUI. The election result in Amethi was also not in their favour. What will be next experiment? Only party is left now. 'Putramoh hi toh hai yeh' (Obsession with son)," Shankar said.

"Not only me, but ask any Congress worker across the country or ask anyone in opposition, they will agree that the state of Congress party would not have been so bad if Priyanka Gandhi had led the party," Shankar added.

After dismal performance in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul reportedly expressed his anger at some party leaders in the Congress Working Committee meeting. He then surprised everyone and resigned from his post of Congress president. Congress leaders and workers urged him to reconsider his decision. Rahul then agreed to remain on the post till the party finds a suitable replacement. After 78 days of hectic parleys, multiple rounds of meetings, Sonia Gandhi was appointed the next Congress president.

After Rahul's resignation and till the time new president was appointed, the party is not able to take many important decisions because Rahul had stopped meeting with Congress Working Committee members and senior Congress leaders.

[Why making Priyanka Gandhi Congress president could be a folly?]

A political analyst had told OneIndia that 'Rahul's kid-like conduct is not going to solve the problem of the Congress and in fact, it's sending a wrong signal in the country'.

During Rahul's term as Congress president, a veteran journalist told OneIndia that Rahul Gandhi had given liberty to Congress' chief ministers and other powerful state leaders to run the show as per their whims and fancies whose price the Congress will have to pay in the future.

Why 'Gandhis' must distance themselves from party affairs totally?

Congress must re-invent itself and the need of the hour is to shun the image that it is 'Gandhi family' party. The term may sound crude, but that is exactly the image crisis that the Congress is dealing with. That is the line of attack that the BJP took during the election campaign. Modi raked up the issue of dynastic politics and left no stone unturned to corner the Congress on this particular issue.

Rahul Gandhi clearly knows this problem. After resigning as the Congress president, Rahul categorically said that a Gandhi should not be in the scheme of things while electing the next party president. Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said, while conveying his decision to give up the top job, "leave my sister out of it".

Congress has long been blamed for not having an 'internal-democracy. This was evident even when Rahul Gandhi was elevated to the party president's post.

[Who is Rahul Gandhi fooling?]

It is more important than ever than a member who not from the Gandhi family is given the reins. That would go a long way in changing the perception people have about the party. People we spoke to clearly said that it is impossible to free the party from the clutches of the Gandhi family.

Even during Rahul's elevation as party chief, a process was held, but there were no other contenders for the post. Shehzaad Poonawala spoke out in the open that he wanted to contest for president's post, but was shunned. The issue became public and Shehzaad finally left the party, but not before bringing to the notice of the masses that things were not transparent in the Congress.

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