More Democracy Pinching Cong, Party Shouldn’t Play on BJP’s Hindutva Pitch for 2024 Polls: Harish Rawat – News18

Referring to the Congress’ stand on Shah Bano’s case, CWC member Harish Rawat said historical blunders have led to the party’s image being tilted towards a particular community. (Photo: News18 Hindi)

The rift between important Congress leaders such as Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Bhupesh Baghel and TS Singh Deo has cost the party badly in the elections in the Hindi heartland. Rawat suggested if need be the party should get rid of ‘rotten apples’

Congress has become “more democratic”, and it is “costing us like anything”, said former AICC general secretary and Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Harish Rawat.

While responding to the inner party conflicts witnessed particularly in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the senior leader said there should be a point to stop. “We are a democratic party but more democracy is pinching us. There has to be a ‘lakshman rekha’, and the party must say goodbye to the trouble-makers,” the former Congress general secretary Rawat told News18 on the party’s debacle in the three-state assembly elections.

The rift between senior Congress leaders had hogged headlines for a long time. The tensions between outgoing Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his counterpart Sachin Pilot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his deputy TS Singh Deo and open squabbling between former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath with Jyotiraditya Scindia led to the latter switching sides to the BJP. These events, Rawat feels have “cost” Congress badly. And, if needed, the party should get rid of rotten apples.

The veteran leader suggested the party play “straight shots” rather than following the BJP’s Hindutva pitch.

“We (Congress) leaders are also Hindus and we should not make efforts to prove the point,” he underlined when asked if the Congress has failed to get political dividends despite leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Bhupesh Baghel, Kamal Nath and others toying the line on ‘soft Hindutva’ stance.

Referring to the Congress’ stand on Shah Bano’s case, the CWC member said that “historical blunders” have led to the party’s image being “tilted towards a particular community”.

Rawat also said Congress should have “addressed” the offer of Samajwadi Party when its president Akhilesh Yadav expressed interest in contesting elections in Madhya Pradesh. “Congress needs to fill the gaps and make corrections ahead of the Lok Sabha polls else the I.N.D.I.A. alliance may not give expected results”.