‘Handing UP affairs to Priyanka was a political misfire’: Senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela

The lack of dialogue in Congress is the biggest problem, the former Gujarat chief minister said, adding that Sonia used to make decisions after listening to everyone.

Published: 18th March 2022 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2022 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and daugther Priyanka Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

AHMEDABAD:  Giving the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was a political misfire, senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela said on Thursday.

“There are expectations from the party high command. High Command means Soniaji and Rahul Gandhi. That should have happened at the right time for Priyanka. Political misfire happened when Priyanka was made the General Secretary of UP,” he told the media, a day after attending the G-23 meet at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence in Delhi.

‘’Everyone has a career and there should be grooming... In UP, Priyanka was handling everything but this election (result) also tarnished Priyanka. There are no more right advisors,’’ he added.

The lack of dialogue in Congress is the biggest problem, the former Gujarat chief minister said, adding that Sonia used to make decisions after listening to everyone.

“Rahul Gandhi is not a bad person. But there is a question (mark) because of generation gap.’’

Vaghela asserted Punjab could have been handled better.  

‘‘The government of Madhya Pradesh is gone. It is barely surviving in Rajasthan. All this is going on in the Congress that is why all the G-23 leaders are coming together... If someone had persuaded Rahul not to change horses in the ongoing race, such a situation would not have happened in Punjab,’’ he added.

Vaghela on Thursday said that after Ahmed Patel's death there is no leader in Congress who can guide the party's top leadership, and the party is suffering because of that.

Vaghela, who attended the meeting of dissident G-23 leaders in Delhi the day before, was speaking to reporters at his residence here.

He himself is not associated with any political party now, having quit Congress in 2017.

The veteran leader termed the Congress' decision to give the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh elections to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as "misfire".

"The recent performance of Congress in elections shows the party is suffering because of Ahmed Patel's absence. After his demise, there is no one to take his place and guide the leadership. If the party had found his replacement, there was not reason to form this G-23," he said.


Patel, a trusted confidante and advisor of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, died in 2020.

"Asking Priyanka Gandhi to head (Congress' campaign in) Uttar Pradesh was a misfire. Now there is a blot on her career. It happened because there was no proper advisor. G-23 wants the leadership to listen to them. This group is not revolting against the party. Their only problem is that no one listens to them," said Vaghela.

On the party's debacle in Punjab, Vaghela said even a political novice would know that a sitting chief minister should not be removed just months ahead of elections.

"The problem lies with the leadership. Politics is a full-time job. It is not a part-time job. Rahul Gandhi's advisor should have told him this," he said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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