Lashing out at "rootless wonders and spineless creepers" for his party's plight, senior Congress leader Kishore Chandra Deo has said that the Congress would not have come to such a pass if Rahul Gandhi had ensured implementation of half the promises made after he became vice president.
Deo, an outgoing Union minister who lost in the recent Lok Sabha polls after being elected to the House for five terms, urged the party president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to do introspection on how to "emancipate the Grand Old Party from the clutches of rootless wonders and spineless creepers, who have held sway for more than two decades and have brought the party to such a pass".
In an interview to news agency Press Trust of India, Deo recalled that Rahul had said much at Jaipur after becoming party vice president on transformation of the organisation.
"If 50 per cent of it was decided by the party, this situation would not have arisen".
Alleging that there was a "stranglehold" of one to two dozen people on the party and its leadership, Deo made a strong pitch for Rahul as also Priyanka Gandhi to work to "free the Congress from these chains and shackles."
The tribal affairs minister said that there was "crisis of credibility" as regards the Congress-led coalition in the wake of price rise of essential commodities and corruption and scams.
The party and the government failed to effectively counter the propaganda on the issues through their words and deeds, he said.
Making a serious charge on the state of party affairs in Seemandhra, he alleged that the "Congress was politically mortgaged and sold out to Jagan, YSR Congress and its fifth column."
Alleging total mismanagement on the part of the party, Deo said while the understanding of the political situation was "poor", the AICC incharge for the state also gave a "wrong briefing" to the Congress President. He said that even notes sent by him on various issues to the party chief had "no effect at all".
Deo said the general feeling was so negative. "The general impression was that Congress has conceded the plank of the party to the YSR Congress in the belief that Jaganmohan Reddy could be managed or manipulated later. These things do not work out.
He said in Seemandhra, the Congress had accepted defeat even before it fought the poll battle.
This, he said, led to fielding of several weak candidates in many assembly segments and the funding from AICC was also "miserable".
As against this, there was no dearth of resources for other two parties -- TDP and YSR Congress, which also had well oiled party machineries, he said, adding, "The writing was there on the wall."
Congress could not secure a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls in Seemandhra having 25 seats and also fared poorly in the assembly polls.
The Congress leader said that in Kerala and Karnataka, Congress had "good" Chief Ministers and "they delivered results. Proof of the pudding is in the eating." Of the total tally of 44 of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Karnataka accounts for 9 and Kerala 8.
Speaking generally of the party, he said it appeared that the party structure failed to give proper feedback to the leadership.