NEW DELHI: Fresh voice of discontent in the Congress came to the fore today with a senior leader warning of doom if the party failed to "restore the credibility of the leadership" in the wake of a string of debacles.
Party leader V Kishore Chandra Deo said the message from the Delhi election is clear--the emergence of AAP is a "negative vote" against Narendra Modi despite the massive campaign undertaken by him.
Deo, who turned 69 today, expressed concern over the feeling among Congressmen that money has become a measure for everything within the party. "Leadership should find out whether this is true or not and make necessary changes."
The Delhi verdict, he said, showed that what the country needs is a party like Congress which is a Left of the centre democratic party. "The key word is with a credible leadership."
"Credibility of the party leadership should be restored in Congress. Otherwise people will find another alternative which the country badly needs today, because vacuum cannot exist in politics, vacuum cannot exist anywhere", said the former Union Cabinet Minister, without naming anyone.
He said people voting for AAP in Delhi is just an indication that they prefer a liberal democratic party with a tolerant outlook and a progressive thought as compared to a "communal party with extreme views."
"The Delhi results are indication of shape of things to come in our future politics. The sweep of AAP and just three seats to BJP showed hollowness of Modi's political hype", he noted.
Deo, who not long ago had lashed out at "rootless wonders and spineless creepers" for the party's plight in the Lok Sabha elections, lamented that Congress is not getting to the root of the problem.
"Obviously there is something radically wrong somewhere which needs to be corrected. I don't think leadership is getting to the root of the problem. Delhi is not an isolated example. State after state is witnessing continuation of process of decimation of Congress", Deo felt.
Elaborating further, Deo, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, said the debacle of Congress in Andhra Pradesh was attributed to the division of the state and carving out of a separate Telangana.
"But there is no division of state in Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and a host of other states where the party has drawn blank or fared very poorly", he noted.
Deo, a former Tribal Affairs Minister who lost in the last Lok Sabha polls after being elected to the House for five terms, had then called for "emancipation of the Grand Old Party from the clutches of rootless wonders and spineless creepers, who have held sway for more than two decades and have brought the party to such a pass".
After the party faced severe reverses in five states since then including Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, Deo was critical of the failure of the party to fix accountability. "No one is made accountable. No accountability fixed within the party", he said citing the instance of Andhra Pradesh.
Deo said though the state PCC is holding meetings to dwelve deep on revival plans, but the effort is futile. "The issue can easily be answered by those who destroyed the prospects of the party in the state", he said.
Without taking any names, he said such discussions have not yielded any results-because "people who have been at the helm here and there --state and Centre for long are still enjoying." He said that the failure of the UPA-II was due to "bad management and loss of credibility."
Calling upon party chief Sonia Gandhi to self introspect, he said that she has to understand the reality and find solutions to revive the embattled party.
He wanted that "credible people" should be put in place as AICC General Secretaries and PCC Presidents.
Asked about Rahul Gandhi, he said that the Congress Vice President should do what he had promised at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir in January 2013 to revitalise the party.
"Rahul should do whatever he said in Jaipur which he has not done or which the party has not implemented", he said.