Chennai: Even as senior Congress leaders have been trying to convince party president Rahul Gandhi to not relinquish his post, support has come from unlikely quarters. Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth, while echoing Rahul’s sentiment that senior party leaders didn’t help him out, said on Tuesday, “He (Rahul Gandhi) should not resign. He should prove he can do it. In democracy, the Opposition should also be strong.”
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As to why Rahul’s leadership failed, he said, “I won’t say he lacks leadership qualities. I think it is really difficult to handle the Congress party… where senior-most people are there.”
“As a youngster, it is difficult (for Rahul) to handle senior-most people. Even I think, my observation is, the senior Congress leaders ― they had not cooperated well. They had not worked hard,” he said.
Thrilled at the NDA’s win, Rajinikanth said, “This victory is a victory for Modi. He is a charismatic leader. In India, after Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi, he is a charismatic leader. I will be going for the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi ji.”
However, the saffron party couldn’t do much in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu due to an “anti-Modi wave”, he said. “When there is a political wave, one cannot swim against it and will be swept away,” he added.
He also elaborated on what caused the anti-Modi wave; Sterlite issue in Thoothukudi, methane extraction project in Cauvery delta and the “whirlwind campaign” of the Opposition.
Meanwhile, the Congress has gone into a huddle over Rahul’s stance that someone else should be elevated to the position he has volunteered to quit. Earlier in the day, party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and leaders K C Venugopal and R S Surjewala visited Rahul. Details of the meeting are not known yet.