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Panelists observe that Congress leaders need to fix their strategy and not indulge in mud-slinging

Infighting between the Congress leaders over the rout in Delhi is triggering bitter feuds. After Milind Deora praised Kejriwal government, Ajay Maken hit out at him, in a tweet, and said he should leave the party if he wishes to, but shouldn’t “propagate half-baked facts”. There are many such instances wherein Congress leaders have been locked into a battle of words over the issue. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the political scenario in Delhi following Kejriwal’s win. Anchorperson Akshay posed the questions to the panelists, including the BJP’s UK Chowdhury, Congress’s Vinod Singh and noted scribe Sunil Kaushik.

Singh said: “This so-called ‘battle of words’ shows that Congress is a democratic party. It is to be noted that people have chosen Kejriwal over others; and that’s a good sign in a way. We need to probe further on why we have lost. People are bound to express what’s in their mind. It happens at times when one has lost. Introspection is needed.”

Kaushik said: “Winning or losing is part of politics. But this feuding among senior leaders is not a good sign. Differences of opinion should be limited to party forums. Such public infighting shows that perhaps the views of such leaders are not being heard inside the party.”

Singh said: “I personally feel that Sheila Dixit should not have been dragged in the infighting. Winning or losing is part of politics. When you look at UP, Congress has had the largest number of chief ministers. But of late, there have been some issues. You might recall that Atalji’s Shining India campaign fell flat, and the Congress came to power after that. The people decide what they want. The same people who voted for Delhi at the centre, voted for Aam Admi Party at the state-level. So anything can happen. No one can predict the undercurrent among masses before the elections. BJP did not know it will get such less votes. We also did not expect such results.”

Kaushik said: “Leaders should think before making provocative remarks. Such remarks can have long-term impacts on the image of the party.”

Singh said: “There are issues regarding the Delhi campaign that we need to reassess. It is not as if to keep the BJP out, the Congress preferred getting routed.”

Chowdhury said: “Delhi election also had national issues, like the Shaheen Bagh issue, for instance. But the people, it looks now, preferred to focus on issues related to their daily life, and did not see the bigger picture. See, people will learn over time, what is good for them and what not. These kinds of failures keep happening in politics.”

Kaushik said: “But BJP also offered freebies to the people. So how can the BJP claim that they were only raking national issues? Muslim girls are getting cash for their marriage in UP, there’s subsidy on cylinders…are these not freebies? What should the middle income tax payer do?  Is not the middle class also looking at medical help, for instance?”

Chowdhury said: “But we are looking at the needy sectors, the poorer sections.”

Singh said: “BJP is a party that’s adept at twisting words. They should know how to respect the people’s verdict.”

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