Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid has said the struggles of the Congress party are such that it is unlikely to win the upcoming assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra. Salman Khurshid, India's former External Affairs Minister, said not just the upcoming state assembly elections, the struggles of the Congress party are at the point that it may not "ensure its own future".
According to reports, Salman Khurshid said the Congress is facing attrition because it is "taking too long to come to terms" with its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections whose results were declared on May 23.
On Monday, Salman Khurshid said Rahul Gandhi left in a huff after the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, and that his mother, Sonia Gandhi, was appointed interim president in August until a new president is chosen by the party, possibly after the October state elections.
"We haven't really got together to analyze why we got defeated. Our biggest problem is our leader has walked away," Khurshid said, adding that Rahul Gandhi still retains the allegiance of the party.
"It's kind of left a vacuum," Khurshid said. "Sonia Gandhi stepped in, but there is more than an indication that she is treating herself as a stop-gap arrangement. I wish it wasn't so."
Congress won only 52 of the 542 parliamentary seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, compared to 303 won by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party faces crucial tests in October 21 when Haryana and Maharashtra go to polls.
After the defeat in May, Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress president and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, stepped in on an interim basis.
Recently, the Congress chief in Haryana, Ashok Tanwar, quit following a difference with the party's leadership over a choice of candidates. Ashok Tanwar was among the Congress's main campaigners in the party's bid to wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana.
Meanwhile, a revolt is also brewing in Maharashtra. Sanjay Nirupam, a key state leader there, recently threatened to quit the party after his recommendations for its nominees were rejected by the party leadership.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi lost his own seat, Amethi, which for long had been a Congress party bastion, in Uttar Pradesh. However, he won a seat from Wayanad in Kerala.