Aiyar, Sibal May Have Contributed to Cong’s Loss in Gujarat: Moily
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday, 19 December, indicated that the controversial statements by his colleagues Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kapil Sibal may have undone the gains made by party president Rahul Gandhi during campaigning in the Gujarat elections.
On 7 December, Aiyar called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech kism ka insaan (a lowly person)” after which he was suspended by the party.
“...our people like Mani Shankar Aiyar should not have raised those issues against him (PM),” Moily told PTI.
Asked if Aiyar’s comments had an adverse electoral impact for the Congress, Moily said:
He also termed as “unnecessary” Sibal’s statement asking the Supreme Court to defer hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi case till after the 2019 general elections.
“Some of our leaders should also restrain themselves, particularly on the eve of the elections and during the elections. One should be very careful. Wisdom should prevail upon them, that means to say that our leaders should also have political sense to deal with the subject,” he told PTI.
He alleged that Modi raised issues to emotionally blackmail the electorate in Gujarat.
“...then again, Pakistan is working against him (Modi) in Gujarat election. Such issues...the Election Commission should take serious note when there is absolutely no proof. It's absolutely again an election 'jumla', and an election jumla should not win an election for any political party; it's negation of democratic principles,” Moily said.
Moily also said the Congress' performance in Gujarat, particularly under Gandhi's leadership, was “par excellence.”
“All those light talks, particularly on Rahul Gandhi, have stopped now. He is marching forward,” Moily said, and claimed that his party lost in 16 Assembly seats in the western state by barely 200 votes.
(With inputs from PTI)