MUMBAI: Maharashtra minister Sudhir Mungantiwar Tuesday called UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and MNS chief Raj Thackeray "defeated leaders", and claimed their meeting was to reduce the pain of poll debacle.
Thackeray had met Gandhi on Monday in New Delhi at the latter's 10 Janpath residence and discussed the issue of EVMs and the political situation in Maharashtra where Assembly elections are scheduled to take place later this year.
Speaking after a cabinet meet, Mungantiwar said, "When two defeated leaders come together, it helps in reducing the pain of (electoral) loss. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has always helped the Congress from outside. If they come together, Raj would be helping Congress officially," he added.
He also ridiculed the churn in the Congress underway with a spate of resignations after party chief Rahul Gandhi did so taking responsibility for the massive loss in the Lok Sabha polls.
"One cannot any further watch the Congress' decline at present," he said in reply to a query on Congress leaders hitting out at each other on social media.
Former Union minister Milind Deora, who resigned as Congress' Mumbai unit chief, and former chief Sanjay Nirupam had hit out at each other on Twitter.
After submitting his resignation, Deora tweeted, "I have suggested a three-member panel (to oversee the city party unit) and I am being consulted by leaders to identify names. I look forward to play a national role to help stabilise the party. Needless to say, I will continue to guide and unite the Mumbai Congress."
Nirupam hit back with a tweet in Hindi that said, "A resignation is linked to the sentiment of sacrifice. In this case, a 'national' level post is being sought. Is this a resignation or a ladder to grow politically? The party should be cautious about such 'hard-working' people."
A letter was written by actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar to Deora in May accusing two Nirupam aides of poll mismanagement also became the centre of the Deora-Nirupam spat. Matondkar lost to BJP's sitting MP Gopal Shetty from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat by a massive margin of 4.67 lakh votes.
"Late Atalji (Vajpayee) had taught us that we must continue serving the people instead of staying focused on electoral wins and losses. Here, the Congress is losing the battle in its mind even before entering the (poll) arena," Mungantiwar commented.