Thiruvananthapuram: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's remarks on "lack of party leadership" has not gone down well with several leaders, as AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Monday said Rahul Gandhi continues to be engaged in day-to-day affairs of the party as assured by him at the time of his resignation.
"Being a Congress worker, Tharoor has expressed the sentiment of the common Congress man. I am not blaming him. But it does not mean the party lacks leadership," Venugopal said.
"When Rahul Gandhi resigned (as Congress president), he had said he would take care of the party's function till a new chief takes charge. And he has kept his word. He is engaged in the day-to-day affairs of the party," he said. The AICC leader, however, said it was necessary to select a new chief for the party and the Congress Working Committee (CWC) should elect the same in case of a vacancy.
Venugopal added that the CWC would meet in August to take a decision on filling the vacant president post, among other things.
In an interview to PTI, Tharoor had expressed disappointment with the prevailing situation in the party and asserted that there is no clear answer to the current "predicament that we in the Congress are facing".
"It is certainly quite true that the lack of clarity at the top of the party is likely to be hurting the Congress workers and sympathisers, many of whom miss the fact of having a party leader to look to for key decisions, authority and even inspiration and energy, to rally together and move forward," Tharoor said.
Meanwhile, Kerala Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran asked the Thiruvanathapuram MP to read the history of Congress.
"Tharoor's claim that Congress is without a leader is not right. How can he say something like that? The Congress has got enough leaders to carry forward its functions," he asserted.
"If we go through the 134 years of Congress history, we can see Congress is the only party with a proper leadership.
Tharoor must read the history of Congress. He should not have said so," the KPCC president told reporters.
Senior leader A K Antony said Gandhi would remain the leader of the Congress workers and all those who believe in secularism and democracy. Opposition Leader in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala shared similar views and said he cannot "completely agree" with Tharoor's claims.
Tharoor said he hoped the CWC was taking the current situation "very seriously" and was doing its best to find a solution without further delay.
Rahul Gandhi announced his resignation as Congress president on May 25. However, the CWC has not accepted the resignation yet.
Ramachandran said the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) wants Gandhi to remain the chief of Congress party.
"We all know about his stand against fascist forces. He had fought such forces in the country fearlessly. Most of the PCCs in various states want Rahul Gandhi to be the leader. They are expecting more from him. It will be solved soon," the state Congress chief added