Antony Plain-speak Opens Floodgates in Grand Old Party

The Congress may still be debating senior leader A K Antony’s take on “securalism” or whispering about general secretary Digvijay Singh’s latest controversial remark on Rahul Gandhi’s aversion to power.

Published: 01st July 2014 07:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2014 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Congress may still be debating  senior leader A K Antony’s take on “securalism” or whispering about general secretary Digvijay Singh’s latest controversial remark on Rahul Gandhi’s aversion to power.

The anger in the party, though, is quite palpable. A senior general secretary, who was earlier in-charge of Gujarat, not only backed Antony’s views on secularism but also said, “the NGO style of politics and functioning had alienated the party from the voters”.

The Congress leader, who did not want to be named said, “While people, like Teesta Setalvad, ran a litigation campaign (on the 2002 Gujarat riots) of their own which appeared to be personal vendetta, the Congress got associated with it even though the party had nothing do with her--it alienated the common voters.”

But the protagonist, whose failure to pull off an election victory has prompted all the introspection-- Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi--is away on holiday, catching some football action. Antony himself was quite unruffled after setting the cat among the pigeons.

But another Congress leader of Antony’s vintage was also bristling. “I’ve always maintained that schemes and social welfare programmes targeted at a particular  community was counter-productive and not in conformity with our Constitutional provisions. If there has to be a quota system, it should better be based on the criterion of  economic backwardness,” he asserted.Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, however, parroted the official line. “The Congress is steadfastly committed to secularism. What Antonyji said was in the context of Kerala,” he said.  But Ahmed was at a loss for words on Digvijay’s remark that Rahul lacked a ruler’s temperament. “We’ve Mallikarjun Kharge as Leader of the Party (in the Lok Sabha), he is senior and doing his job well. This is unnecessary talk,” he said.

He was, obviously, cagey about Rahul’s absence-holiday breaks, just as the party debated over the cause of the debacle. This is the second holiday the Congress V-P has taken since the elections results were out. According to sources in the Ministry of Home, the Congress scion could be in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp