A day after senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh remarked that some of his party colleagues were behaving like “sultans”, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has hit back, saying the minister “should have realised that he is also one among the sultans”.
According to an Indian Express report, the former Union minister on Tuesday came under sharp attack from the top Congress leaders for his remarks that the party was facing an “existential crisis” and that “the Sultanate has gone, but the party leaders are still behaving like the sultans”.
“I think there is a lot of goodwill for the Congress. Old slogans don't work, old formulas don't work, old mantras don't work. India has changed, the Congress party has to change," Ramesh had said.
Dikshit’s comment comes at a time when questions are being raised over the function of some senior Congress leaders who do not enjoy public support but have their say in decision-making.
However, Union minister M Veerappa Moily supported Dikshit and said, “such statements can be made only by those who have not undergone the pain and agony of working in the Congress and only enjoyed the pleasure of power.”
“Ramesh has crossed all the limits of discipline in the party and that the party should have zero tolerance for indiscipline,” said Moily. “We have toiled for this party for the last 50 years and we know what it is… the pain, pain of the leadership and pain of the workers… rank and file. And people who have not undergone the pain and agony… of working in the Congress and only enjoyed the pleasure of power, only they can make such statements, Moily told Indian Express.”
Dikshit, however, accepted that there are setbacks but doesn’t want to call it an “existential crisis” as Ramesh had put it. “Electoral fortunes might go against the party at times. But the people of this country, who are suffering under the Modi government, will bring us back,” Dikshit said.
Earlier, Ramesh had said that the Congress faced an electoral crisis from 1996 to 2004. However, Dikshit defended the party leadership—Sonia and Rahul—by saying that they are doing whatever is necessary for the party.
“We need both the experience of the elder as well as the energy of the youth. We have a right mix of both. The people of this country have faith in Congress,” Dikshit said.