Digvijaya backs Rahul's attacks on Modi, but says it isn't the main issue

Digvijaya Singh
In a criticism of Rahul Gandhi’s episodic approach to politics, and his unwillingness to do the hard work of rebuilding the party organisation, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday said he supported the aggressive attacks of the former Congress chief on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the real issue right now was to revive the party structure.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister appealed to Rahul Gandhi to take over as the president of the party, and that the brother-sister duo of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should show their “dynamism” in urgently reviving party institutions – from booth level to the All India Congress Committee.

“This is the crux of the matter and this is the challenge before Sonia (Gandhi) ji Rahul ji and Priyanka ji,” Singh said.

“I am certain they would do it. The whole Congress party – young, old, everyone – stands behind you and are ready to make whatever sacrifice you demand. So Rahul ji please lead,” Singh tweeted.

In a series of tweets, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said the ‘old guard versus young guard’ tensions within the Congress, as portrayed in the media, had little basis.

Singh asked, “who is preventing Rahul ji to take over the reins of the Party?”

Singh said he had no doubt that both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had “the guts and courage to take on Modi-Shah twins”.

But Singh seemed to suggest the bigger challenge is rebuilding the party.

He said the need of the hour was for the Congress leadership to “take up the challenge of building the party organisation brick by brick”.

“This is where we need the dynamism of Rahul ji and Priyanka ji,” he said.

He disagreed with Rahul Gandhi’s decision to quit as the party chief in the aftermath of the Congress’s disastrous performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Singh said Rahul Gandhi had emerged the main challenger to Modi in 2019 and should have continued to build the party either as its president, or the leader of the Congress parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha.

Over the years, Rahul Gandhi has faced criticism for trying to wield power without accountability, including for his unwillingness to join the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government from 2004 to 2014 as a minister.

Singh seemed to allude to this ‘renunciation’ of Rahul Gandhi. “Why did he voluntarily withdraw from the scene?” he asked.

“No one and no one in Congress Party is opposed to him. This perception is more in you people in the media than reality,” Singh said.

Singh advised those who disagree with Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive attacks on the PM, and he is not one of them, should quit the party.

He further asked, “Who are the people in Congress who want to go soft on Modi must have the courage to speak their mind either within the party or if they have guts say publicly.”

Rahul Gandhi has felt, at least since the time he aggressively raised the issue of alleged irregularities in the Rafale fighter jet deal, that other leaders in his party are taciturn in attacking Modi.

However, some in the party are of the view that Rahul Gandhi makes his attack on Modi a personal one, such as his tweet in the wake of Chinese intrusions that said Narendra Modi has now become ‘Surender Modi.

They believe this not only deflects from the issue at hand, but lends sympathy to Modi and that Rahul Gandhi shirking the hard work needed to address the central issue of rebuilding the party.

Singh said he personally supported the aggressive stand which Rahul ji and Priyanka ji are taking on issues of national interest in India and Uttar Pradesh.

“If this is not appreciated by some leaders in the Congress then why are they in Congress?” Singh said.

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