NEW DELHI: A Delhi Congress leader who described Rahul Gandhi as “mentally unfit” in a press statement she tweeted, has been expelled from the party this morning.
Barkha Shukla Singh had on Thursday announced that she was stepping down as the chief of the women’s wing of the Congress’ Delhi unit, but inexplicably did not quit the party. Her attack on the Congress Vice President seemed designed to invite action in a party where no one questions the first family, the Gandhis.
The Congress said this morning that Ms Singh was being expelled for six years for “undertaking anti-party activities just before the MCD elections.” The decision had been taken by the party’s disciplinary committee, it said.
“Senior-most leaders of the party, I would not like to name anybody, are also of the view that Rahul Gandhi is mentally unfit to lead the party but choose not to say it because of reasons that are unknown to me,” Ms Singh had said in her scathing attack.
She also lashed out at the Delhi Congress’ chief Ajay Maken, who is now engulfed in a rebellion with leaders leaving the party almost everyday ahead of crucial civic elections on Sunday, in which the Congress hopes to resurrect itself in Delhi after multiple washouts.
Mr Maken, Ms Singh alleged, had “misbehaved, not only with me but also with several office bearers of the Mahila Congress.” Their plea to Mr Gandhi, she said, “fell on deaf ears.”
She had a complaint common to several Congress leaders who have rebelled in recent days – Mr Gandhi’s disinterest in their problems.
“The one pertinent question we need to ask today is why is Rahul Gandhi in hiding? Why is he scared of meeting his own party members?” Ms Singh said in a statement.
“He is only interested in sycophants and not leaders who reason, question and ask,” she said, alleging that the party has lost several senior leaders for that reason.
Earlier this week, senior leader and former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely quit the party and joined the BJP, also expressing deep dissatisfaction with the Congress leadership, including Mr Gandhi and the way the party is being run.
Other Delhi leaders of the Congress have also complained about Mr Maken, who was handpicked to be the party’s Delhi chief with a brief to pull the party out of a political morass.
“No one listens,” was the plaint of Delhi Congress veteran AK Walia, who had threatened to resign last month over the selection of candidates for the civic polls.