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One loss does not mean Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi should quit says K Siddaramaiah Karnataka CM

K Siddaramaiah tells detractors that there is no need for Priyanka Gandhi to play a prominent role in the party after its loss in LS polls.

Aug 22, 2014, 03.32 AM IST
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K Siddaramaiah tells detractors that there is no need for Priyanka Gandhi to play a prominent role in the party after its loss in LS polls.
K Siddaramaiah tells detractors that there is no need for Priyanka Gandhi to play a prominent role in the party after its loss in LS polls.
Karnataka chief minister K Siddaramaiah is unequivocally backing Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi, telling detractors that there is no need for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to play a prominent role in the party after its drubbing in the May general election. “I don’t think that is necessary,” the straight-talking 66-year-old told K R Balasubramanyam and Karthik Subbaraman in a rare interview. Edited excerpts:

What is your view on voices of dissent against Rahul Gandhi?

It was a miserable defeat for the Congress, and in a situation like this, naturally some people issue statements. But the Congress is a 128-year-old party, and the leadership has passed through this kind of a situation in the past too. The Congress leadership is a tested leadership. You cannot fix responsibility on only Soniaji and Rahul Gandhi for the defeat. We are all responsible.

Do you agree with (former defence minister) AK Antony’s conclusion absolving Rahul Gandhi?

Antonyji has come to that conclusion after hearing views from all party units and leaders. I agree with his views.

Do you think Priyanka Gandhi should assume a larger role?

I don’t think that is necessary. Merely because Rahul has lost one election you cannot call it a leadership failure.

What about Rahul-led strategies such as holding primaries?

All those strategies did not work because this time people voted for change. What happened to Janata Party in 1977? It swept so many states, but in three years the Congress was back. The same situation will not remain the same forever.

But Modi is not repeating the mistakes made by the Janata Party.

We cannot say that. Modi has been in power for three months. He said ‘Achhe Din Ayenge.’ (The good days are coming) Where is it? He said he will arrest price rise, but what has happened? He cannot carry out a miracle for the economy in one stroke.

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