Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has offered an explanation for party’s dismal performance in recently held elections including the Bihar polls. He said the five-star culture prevalent in the party was responsible for it as leaders did not have not any connect with the masses. He said elections cannot be won from five star hotels. He said upon getting a ticket, the leaders book a five-star hotel and refuse to move without an air-conditioned car or visit the places where there is an untarred road.
Azad said the top leadership was not the reason behind downfall of the grand old party, but the local leadership. He said block leaders and district leaders have lost the connection with people. The moment they get a rank, they get their letter prints and visiting cards printed and think their job is done. On the contrary, there should ideally begin from there, he said.
Azad said party leaders should be elected and not appointed or they would not connect with the grassroots. Earlier, senior leader Kapil Sibal had made sharp comments about Congress’ performance in Bihar and said the party needed to introspect. He faced criticism from his party colleague Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his remarks who said Sibal should have gone to Bihar for campaigning if he was so concerned about the party. He said instead of speaking in front of media, he should have contacted the top leadership and raised his concerns with them. He said mere words were not enough.
Even though Sibal did not respond to Chowdhury’s remarks, leaders close to him said he was surprised on being attacked for not campaigning in Bihar as G23 leaders’ name was not there in the list of campaigners and they could have not gone for campaigning unless asked by the party. G23 refers to the group of 23 leaders who had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi questioning the functioning of the party. The letter had stirred a massive storm within the party at that time.