UP elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi says Congress needs ‘structural changes’, fuming veterans want ‘cardiac surgery’

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New Delhi | Published: March 15, 2017 2:22:48 AM

As Rahul Gandhi, in first remarks on the rout of the Congress in the UP Assembly elections, took no blame and called for structural and organisational changes, more and more party veterans said it was time the leadership considered drastic steps since the the need of the hour was a “cardiac surgery”.

“As far as the Congress party is concerned, we do need to make structural and organisational changes. That is a fact,” Rahul Gandhi said. (PTI)

As Rahul Gandhi, in first remarks on the rout of the Congress in the UP Assembly elections, took no blame and called for structural and organisational changes, more and more party veterans said it was time the leadership considered drastic steps since the the need of the hour was a “cardiac surgery”. “As far as the Congress party is concerned, we do need to make structural and organisational changes. That is a fact,” Rahul said on Tuesday. “The BJP won in UP… why they won it. There are multiple reasons. Large part of it is polarisation… We are in the Opposition and you have ups and downs. So, we had a little down in UP, which is fine, we accept it. But we have an ideological fight with the BJP and we will continue to do that,” he said, calling a 3-2 scoreboard not a “bad result”.

Frustration appears to be growing in the party after the stunning win of the BJP. Senior Congress leader KV Thomas told The Indian Express that the Congress leadership should rise to the expectations of the people.

“People still believe that the Congress is the party which can lead the country against Narendra Modi… The party should improve its functioning in tune with that aspiration. We should be preparing ourselves, especially for elections, in advance. Not on the eve of elections. The state and central level leaderships should rise to the expectations of the people,” Thomas said.

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Many leaders spoke of drastic steps. Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily was the first to demand a major surgery in the party. Today, Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Satyavrat Chaturvedi echoed him, saying the need of the hour was a “cardiac surgery”. “It has been three years (since the 2014 defeat). Nothing has happened so far. Everyone was waiting something will happen and are tired now. We have lost hope. And the results are before us,” Chaturvedi said.

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