NATIONAL

Congress reduced to a crowd around a family: Jaitley

NEW DELHI, FEB. 26. Instead of indulging in name-calling, the Congress should ponder why so many of its members were leaving the party, the Union Law Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson, Arun Jaitley, said today.

The Congress had become a "crowd around a family." On the other hand, a "new leadership is created" in the BJP on the basis of "talent and contribution to the party."

Mr. Jaitley charged the Congress with "non-performance" in the States it was ruling. This became evident as the people of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had rejected the party in the Assembly elections for its inability to provide the basic facilities.

Mr. Jaitley said that in Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, the Congress factions were at "civil war."

In the rest of the States too, the internal fights were fierce. The party should "introspect" and analyse the reasons for its sorry state of affairs.

To a question, Mr. Jaitley said it was "pitiable" that the Congress had to rely on the former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, for campaigning, even though he was facing a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Asked whether the BJP would allow Dilip Singh Judev, the party's Chhattisgarh leader facing a similar probe into the cash-on-camera scandal, Mr. Jaitley said: "every `karyakarta' (worker) of the party will campaign for the election."

He criticised the Congress for forging alliances with "small parties and groups" in a bid to "piggy ride to success".