After narrowly losing the assembly polls in Bihar, senior leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal Shivanand Tiwari has hit out against the top leadership of the Congress party, with whom it fought the elections as part of the Grand Alliance in the state.
Terming the Congress a "shackle" for the alliance, Tiwari said the party had contested on 70 seats but did not hold as many rallies.
"Congress turned out to be a shackle for the Mahagathbandhan. They had fielded 70 candidates but didn't hold even 70 public rallies. Rahul Gandhi came to Bihar for just three days, Priyanka didn't come, people who were unfamiliar with Bihar came here. This is not right," Tiwari said.
Taking a potshot at the seriousness of the Congress leadership regarding the Bihar election, Tiwari said "Elections were in full swing here and Rahul Gandhi was having a picnic at Priyanka ji's house in Shimla."
"Is the party run like that? Allegations can be levelled that the manner in which Congress party is being run, it is benefitting BJP... The prime minister is older than Rahul Gandhi and did more rallies than him. Why did he do only three rallies? This shows party leadership was not serious about the Bihar election. Earlier there was news that even Piyanaka Gandhi would visit Bihar, but it did not happen either," he stated.
He further said that Congress put more emphasis on contesting on the maximum number of seats rather than winning them.
"Be it UP election, and the way they behaved with Akhilesh Yadav, or how they contested in more seats in Maharashtra than the Nationalist Congress Party and won lesser seats than them. Congress lays more emphasis on contesting on the maximum possible number of seats but they fail at winning the maximum possible number of seats. Congress should think about this," he said.
He further said that his party, the RJD, was an old ally of Congress, and still believes the grand old party of India has a stronghold in many states but added that Congress has to mend its ways otherwise it would achieve notoriety for strengthing BJP in the country.
"Sonia Gandhi is working president. At a time in the past when Congress was slipping, she took the reins in her hand and brought it back on track. Now I'll request her to find a way to (bring the part back on track) otherwise it will be written in history that it was the weakness that Congress party showed that lead to the strengthening of BJP to this extent," Tiwari said.
Previously, on Thursday Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar had blamed the party's "weak show" to the loss of the Mahagathbandhan in the Bihar elections .
Congress's PL Punia had also urged introspection by Congress party on its poor performance.
In the 2015 Bihar elections Congress won 27 seats from 41 but this time Congress fought for 70 seats but only got 19 seats. The RJD-led Grand Alliance won 110 seats, 12 less than the majority mark of 122.