"Changes to come soon to put in place a 21st-century Congress", says the former union minister

Admitting that the party was at crossroads and there were short comings both in the organisation and the UPA government, former Union Minister Sachin Pilot on Monday said “changes will happen soon” to put in place a 21-century Congress.

Refusing to blame Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the poll debacle, the young leader said the party Mr. Gandhi “should not be seen in isolation” and that he would focus on states where Congress had done disastrously in the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Pilot also said that the statement of senior leader A K Antony on the issue of secularism would be discussed “threadbare” internally.

“You don’t take knee jerk reactions when you take decisions. We are at crossroads, let’s be clear about it.

Congress party is down to 44 MPs in Parliament and this is a huge setback for us and never before it has come to this low level.

“Obviously there were shortcomings in the organisation and in the (previous) government. That is why the numbers are so poor. We are not living in denial, we have accepted the defeat with humility,” Mr. Pilot said in an interview to PTI.

He was replying to a question about why no changes have been effected in the party despite the debacle.

Underlining that Congress has a “historical political responsibility”, he said the party will undergo changes and Sonia Gandhi will effect those changes after having discussions and feedback from the whole country.

“It is not about sitting one day and deciding to overhaul the structure. Changes will happen, accountability will be established, the road ahead will be charted out and the Congress party will present itself in the 21st century avatar and reach out to regain the faith and confidence,” he said.

Asked if there is scope for improvement in Mr. Gandhi’s leadership, he said, “Let us not look at him in isolation because he belongs to the Congress party. I also belong to the Congress party. The best thing that I can do is win elections....

“Of course, we did not do right things and did not properly communicate but this whole fact finding issue of why we lost etc, this is done at a structured level in the Congress party.”

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