Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge slammed senior leaders of the party for their "loose talk" against the party and leadership.
Kharge, who was speaking at the birth anniversary celebrations of former prime minister Indira Gandhi at KPCC office in Bengaluru on Thursday, said on one hand, the Congress was dealing with the RSS/BJP "betaal"(ghost) and on the other, its own leaders.
A day after senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal called out the party's poor showing in the Bihar assembly polls and said people did not see Congress as an "effective alternative" and that the party leadership was not addressing the problems nagging the party, Kharge, a Gandhi family loyalist, cautioned his party members that the voices of dissent were weakening the party and its ideology.
"It hurts to see senior leaders openly speak against the party and seek a change of leadership instead of trying to resolve the differences within the party forum. It was decided in the Congress Working Committee meeting that Sonia Gandhi would continue as the interim president till elections are held. Now, elections have not yet been held and the COVID-19 situation has not changed. Still, people are talking of leadership crisis," Kharge said.
"If we weaken the party ideology, we all will perish," said Kharge, adding that Congress was the only national party that could take on a divisive BJP, which is trying to break and oppress the grand old party.
"They (BJP) want to finish the Congress party by diminishing both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Then, Manusmriti will become the Constitution of this country. Unless we stand united and strengthen the hands of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi who are fighting for the poor, Dalits and the farmers, we cannot teach a lesson to the RSS-backed BJP government that believes in divide and rule policy," said Kharge.
Taking a dig at senior leaders who blame the leadership for electoral defeats, Kharge said, "I am appalled at some state leaders blaming Rahul and Sonia Gandhi ji whenever the party loses. The leaders who seek tickets for self or their candidates stay away from the elections if they fail to get the tickets. The high command has always given 90 per cent of tickets in consultation with the local leaders and around 5-10 per cent might have been the high command's decision. But this is enough to make our leaders indifferent towards the party. Such leaders have no credibility as they fail to get even a corporator elected," said Kharge.