Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has advised Congress president Rahul Gandhi against quitting as the party chief post his party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. Lalu said that Rahul resigning from the Congress chief’s chair would be a ‘suicidal’ move.
“Rahul’s offer to resign is suicidal. Opposition parties had the common goal to dislodge BJP but failed to build a national narrative. The result in a particular election can never alter the reality in as diverse and plural a country as India,” he tweeted.
The tweet comes in the backdrop of news reports claiming that Rahul is adamant on relinquishing the post, owning moral responsibility for the party’s poor show. The Congress won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha elections which is eight more than its 2014 tally of 44, falling short for the second time of the required numbers to be accorded the Leader of Opposition status in the Lok Sabha. According to rule parliamentary rule, a party must have a minimum 10% MPs of the total strength of the Lok Sabha to be accorded the position of Leader of Opposition.
Lalu also asked Rahul to continue to head the Congress party and if the Congress decides to appoint a non-Gandhi as its president, he would be accused of being a puppet of the Gandhi family. “Why should Rahul give such an opportunity to his political rivals?” he said.
Lalu noted that the opposition parties should accept that the super-sized victory of Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections was a collective failure of the opposition leaders and that they should introspect on what went wrong. The RJD chief said that he feels opposition leaders failed to synchronise their strategies and thus failed to project themselves as an alternative to the BJP-led NDA. He also said that lack of consensus on a prime ministerial candidate only came as an incentive for the BJP.
“No clear prime ministerial candidate emerged from the opposition against Narendra Modi. The opposition could not choose one ‘dulha’ (groom) for its ‘baraat’ (wedding procession),” he pointed out.
Lalu’s reaction comes two days ahead of a meeting of the grand alliance constituents in Bihar. The grand alliance in Bihar comprises RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM and VIP. The Congress won just one seat from Bihar’s quota of 40 seats and other parties drew a blank. The remaining 39 seats were won by the BJP-LJP-JD(U) combine.
Lalu was rushed to RIMS in Ranchi last week after the declaration of the Lok Sabha elections results. The RJD chief’s health deteriorated after he quit eating food in the wake party’s drubbing in the general elections. He is currently undergoing treatment in Ranchi.