Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign as Congress chief suicidal: Lalu Prasad

Soon after someone else beyond the Gandhi-Nehru family takes over as Congress chief, the BJP "will paint the new leader as a 'puppet' remote-controlled by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi," Lalu Prasad added.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Tuesday called Rahul Gandhi’s decision step down as Congress president as “suicidal”. The former Bihar chief minister, who is serving a jail term after conviction in the multi-crore fodder scam cases, said Rahul’s resignation will “amount to falling into the BJP’s trap.”

According to reports, after the debacle in the Lok Sabha election, Rahul has offered to quit as Congress chief and has asked the party to look for a suitable successor.

In an analysis of the Lok Sabha election results published in The Telegraph, Lalu told author Nalin Verma that soon after someone else beyond the Gandhi-Nehru family takes over as Congress chief, the BJP “will paint the new leader as a “puppet remote-controlled by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi”. “This will play on it till the next general election. Why should Rahul give such an opportunity to his political detractors?” Lalu, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Ranchi, added.

On the results of Lok Sabha polls, Lalu said the Opposition should accept the verdict as “their collective failure ” and should “introspect on what went wrong.” “The Opposition parties had the common goal to dislodge the BJP but failed to build a national narrative. The people were looking for a national alternative, which the Opposition parties — fighting in a disoriented manner in their respective states — failed to provide,” Lalu said, adding that the Opposition failed to “synchronise their strategy and actions.”

Adding that the Opposition should have declared Rahul Gandhi as their prime ministerial face, Lalu said not having a consensus on “the dulha of their baraat” (groom of their wedding party) worked in the favour of BJP. “There was nothing wrong for the regional parties to bargain for more seats but they should not have done the strategic blunder of not projecting someone who has a national perspective as the Prime Minister candidate,” he added. Lalu Prasad also recounted how he had campaigned for Nitish Kumar as the Bihar Mahagathbandhan’s chief minister candidate in 2015 despite not wanting him for the top spot.

The RJD chief also said the results can “never alter the reality in as diverse and plural a country as India.” “It is foolhardy to interpret the electoral success of a party — which has failed on all fronts of education, unemployment, poverty and deprivation — as something like drastic change in the social and political behaviour of the people,” he added, calling the opposition parties to “strengthen their strategies in their respective states.”

The RJD, meanwhile, drew a blank in Bihar. This is the first instance after its inception in 1997, that the RJD could not win a parliamentary seat in the state.

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