Kochi: In remarks that could escalate crisis in the Congress, Kerala PCC Vice President VD Satheesan, a Rahul Gandhi loyalist, Thursday came down heavily on a section of senior party leaders, accusing them of playing behind the scenes to tarnish the image of the Congress Vice President.
Describing Gandhi as a "honest and sincere" politician, he said the Congress VP had never tolerated corruption when the party was in power and he was targeted by a section of senior party leaders, whose "corrupt practices and unpopular economic policies" were major reasons for UPA's defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections.
"Those who were indulging in corrupt activities, those who were behind the unpopular decisions and those who were the obedient servants of corporates and those who implemented the economic reforms, which caused the wide gap between the haves and have nots.... Such people are not in the scene. Now they are putting all blame on Rahulji. They are behind this (Gandhi bashing)," Satheesan told PTI.
He said a section of senior Congress leaders who speak "polished English, known for their arrogance and corruption" are responsible for the entire defeat of the party in the elections and "they are now trying to escape from the scene."
"Some of them were obedient servants of the corporates (when they were ministers in the UPA government)...And they are pointing fingers to Rahul Gandhi. You turn left or you turn right, you will find a trigger happy senior leader. Their favourite past time is to target the party leadership... especially the AICC Vice President.
"According to them he is the only one responsible for the party's dismal show. This is totally unacceptable," said Satheesan, a three time legislator in the Kerala Assembly.
The former AICC secretary also questioned the silence of senior party leaders, barring A K Antony and Digvijay Singh, when the BJP and RSS are trying to weaken the party by attacking Rahul Gandhi through social media and other forums.
"It is very unfair. They should come forward. Rahulji is an honest person and a sincere man, no doubt. He is the one and same in public eye and party forums... no duplication...His vulnerability, his sincerity and his gains and losses are there for everyone to see and analyse."
"He does not engage a PR agency to create a false personae...or to wear Rs 10 lakh worth coat or do such a gimmick to create a false image. He is an honest person. He is what he is. He is hardworking, responsible and above all an accountable person," he said.
Satheesan's attack comes at a time when the rift between Rahul Gandhi's team and senior Congress leaders is widened over many issues, including his near possible anointment as the Congress chief.
"Rahulji will definitely emerge. He will definitely come back. No doubt. And he will take the reins of the party in future with the blessings of Sonia Gandhi," he said.