The Congress is worried that it might be losing the battle of perception over party chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, who is accused of dubious land deals by the BJP.
A senior leader of the Congress party, wishing he not be identified, admitted Wednesday that the Vadra issue adds to the "scam-tainted" image of the party. Asked if the Vadra land deals would affect the party's electoral prospects, he said: "Maybe... Already, due to 2G and other such issues, the party has acquired a negative perception as far as corruption is concerned."
The party has faced a barrage of criticism over alleged scams in the distribution of telecom spectrum and the allocation of coal blocks for mining, among others, during its term in power.
The leader claimed that there was no specific illegality in any of the land deals conducted by Vadra. "However, I can't answer if you ask me how he became so rich in such a short time," he added.
Vadra's wife Priyanka Gandhi, on Tuesday, put forth a strong defence of her husband, and complained that he was being unfairly targeted by the opposition.
The leader opined that Vadra's political links should not be seen as having influenced the decision to grant change in land use to realty major DLF for the construction of apartments near Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"DLF has been obtaining change in land use for its projects since the inception of the company. It has got the same in half of Haryana," he said.
Officially, the party has strongly backed Priyanka's defence.
Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi Wednesday said the party was "one hundred and ten percent with Priyanka".
"Mr. Vadra is being targeted by the cheap tactics and dirty tricks department of the opposition and being unnecessarily dragged into the electoral debate," he contended.