The Congress party is going through an internal rumblings after debacle in Bihar Assembly elections and bypolls. While a few have called for introspection, some have suggested that leaders should avoid raising party's internal matters at public forums. Days after senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal's open criticism triggered a turmoil, another senior leader has made comments that don't conform to the party line.
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has now said that the party doesn't have 'organisational presence on the ground or has weakened considerably'. In an interview published in Dainik Bhaskar, Chidambaram said that the Bihar elections result proved that even smaller parties like CPI(ML)L and AIMIM could deliver if they are strong organisationally.
Chidambaram said that the RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar had a chance of winning and called for a comprehensive review of the performance.
"Why we lost despite being so close to victory is something that needs comprehensive review," the former Union minister said and reminded that the Congress won in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand 'not long ago'.
"I am more worried about the bypoll results in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. These results show that the party either has no organisational presence on the ground or has been weakened considerably," he said.
To a question whether Congress was the weakest link in the grand alliance led by RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, he said that the party contested more seats than its organizational strength.
"The Congress was given 25 seats where the BJP or its allies had been winning for 20 years. The Congress should have refused to contest from these seats. The party should have fielded only 45 candidates," he said.
The Congress won 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in Bihar. RJD's Tejashwi Yadav-led 'Mahagathbandhan' of which the Congress was the second major partner ended up with 110 seats while the NDA retained power in a close contest, bagging 125 seats in the 243-member assembly in the recent polls.
The party is since then facing criticism from within the ranks for the poor show. Ealier this week, Kapil Sibal said that people don't consider the grand old party as an alternative and questioned the functioning of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the organisation.