Party sets up three-member fact-finding committee to identify the causes for Assembly election loss and suggest corrective measures.


NEW DELHI: After the Congress in Gujarat faced its worst ever defeat in the recently held Assembly polls, winning only 17 out of 182 seats, sources in the Congress suggest that the high command is very unhappy with the performance of the state leadership, which was responsible for inconsequential decision-making that led to a humiliating downfall in the state.
Subsequently this week, the Congress has set up a three-member fact-finding committee to identify the causes and suggest corrective measures.
The committee will be headed by former Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut, who also leads the party’s Scheduled Caste (SC) department and two other members, Shakeel Ahmad Khan, and Lok Sabha member from Odisha, Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka. They will evaluate the results of the recently concluded Assembly elections in Gujarat and suggest measures to be taken, with immediate effect. The committee will submit a report to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge within two weeks.
Senior leaders in Gujarat have suggested that the fact-finding committee has been asked to establish reasons, why the party was unable to perform even after so much of resources were used. A senior Congress leader said, “AICC gave us everything, we were not lacking (in terms of resources) in pursuit of our electioneering . Whatever we had told them (AICC), they had bestowed us, but these discouraging results has made the high command very furious, thus they have set up the fact-finding committee.”
Although All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Gujarat, Raghu Sharma, 64, submitted his resignation to AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge after the results, taking moral responsibility for the party’s unprecedented loss, there is a common understanding among the Congress leadership that it was Raghu Sharma who let the cadre down by not being able to deal with the rank and file of the party cadre which led to discouragement of party workers. They claim that Sharma and other top leaders would act on their whim, without taking any review, and were also slow in formulating adequate response to party-related problems. Senior leaders in the party, while counting several causes for the decline, pointed out that it was Sharma who used to say, “Jo jana chahta hai Congress se jasakhta hai” (whosoever wants to leave the Congress, can leave), which added fuel to fire among leaders who were already resenting their weak and dwindling organisational setup.
Plus, they would give responsibilities to those who were close to them rather than those who were meritorious and wanted to work.
There is also an understanding that the party workers had already given in as they were not motivated. They would see that their party was without any charismatic leader who could pull the votes as against the BJP’s ace card Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress leaders further claim that AAP workers were way too much motivated than Congress workers and “even after having many times more cadre than the AAP, we were only able to get double the votes of AAP; we need to see what we are dealing with”. AAP received around 13% vote share in the state, while the Congress got 27%.