BHOPAL: Former Union minister Aslam Sher Khan, who had offered to take over as Congress president after the Lok Sabha rout, has said nearly 12 crore voters did repose their faith in the party in the polls, and it can catch up with the BJP if it started afresh.
The task was tough but not impossible, he said, speaking to PTI earlier this week.
"Despite losing in the general elections, nearly 12 crore voters reposed faith in the party while 23 crore voted for the BJP.
We have to start afresh instead of sitting idle and the challenge is to bridge this gap in the next five-ten years," the former India hockey player said.
"Though it is a major challenge, it is not a herculean task if the party decides to start afresh and reach out to people with a new vigour and strategy," Khan said.
If the Congress worked hard, it can convert these 12 crore votes into 25 crore, he said.
"It is not a daunting task. Congress is not a fiefdom of few people, it is a group of people and by joining hands with like-minded parties, it can still turn the tables on the BJP," he said.
The party should be and is in a position to provide "ideological option" to the people of the country on the basis of its secular credentials, he said.
Earlier, Khan had suggested that Kamal Nath should float a parallel outfit to unseat the BJP from power in Madhya Pradesh.
Though Nath did not take that advice, the Congress defeated the BJP in the 2018 Assembly polls and Nath became the chief minister.
After the Lok Sabha debacle, Khan had offered to take the reins of the Grand Old Party for two years, promising to transform it by injecting team spirit.
In a letter to Rahul Gandhi, then Congress president, on May 27, Khan, who scored a goal to ensure gold medal for India in the 1975 Hockey World Cup, had said he was ready to become party chief, citing his experience as "international hockey player and later as a politician".