MUMBAI: Shiv Sena has asked Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the oldest political party and rejuvenate it by enthusing energy.
Shiv Sena leader and executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' Sanjay Raut stopping Rahul Gandhi from taking over leadership of Congress will lead to the "extinction" of the grand old party.
“The major issue with the Congress party is that its traditional support base Muslim-Dalit – 22 per cent vote bank has ebbed. The Dalits and Muslims are no more voting Congress in the block. Some Dalits went to Mayawati while in Maharashtra, they are voting to Prakash Ambedkar’s party while Muslims are rallying behind Muslim leaders. Therefore, Congress needs to revisit its strategy,” Raut said in his weekly a column in Saamana.
Raut also said Congress lacks a leader who can stand up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with full might adding that Congress' 'pseudo-secularism' is not helping the party against the ruling BJP.
“Congress party is directionless therefore its voters are joining different parties. There is not a single person in the party who is non-Congress and can become the president. Congress has witnessed many breaks up, but it has not only survived but bounced back.
"None of the 23 Congress leaders who wrote a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi, are capable to lead the party. Everyone wants power. No one is ready to sacrifice for the party. The party needs strong leadership that Rahul Gandhi can provide,” Raut said.
Raut also added how Rahul Gandhi had revealed the intentions of the leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi without taking any names.
Referring to regional parties floated by former Congress leaders, Raut said, "The Congress still exists across India but with different masks. If these masks are thrown away, it can emerge as a prominent political party."
He said Congress veteran late V N Gadgil described the Congress as an old woman who will never die.
"Rahul Gandhi has to decide what to do with the old lady," Raut added.
(With PTI inputs)