New Delhi: Pankaj Shankar, an ex-aide of former Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday called him a ‘political intern’ under whom the Congress fell from a seat count in three digits to that in two, adding that it was an internship that was not coming to an end.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Shankar, who earlier used to handle communication for the former Congress president, said that Rahul had been in politics in 15 years, having entered there in 2004. He added that there had also been experiments with the Youth Congress and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), but despite that, he wasn’t even able to hold onto his family seat of Amethi.

Taking a jibe at Rahul’s mother and current Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, he said that if this wasn’t putramoh (blind love for son), then what is?

Backing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who made her political debut in January and is currently the general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East), he said, “Not only me but ask any Congress worker across the country or ask anyone in opposition, they will agree that the state of Congress party would not have been so bad if Priyanka Gandhi had led the party.”

Pankaj Shankar has served as an advisor in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). He has also served as a consultant in Doordarshan when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power.

In the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, Rahul Gandhi lost to BJP’s Smriti Irani from Amethi, a seat which he had held since 2004. However, he won from Kerala’s Wayanad, the second seat from which he contested the general elections. In the wake of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) massive win, with the BJP alone winning 303 seats, he resigned as Congress president and did not heed to calls by several Congress leaders to take back his resignation.

Later, he was succeeded by his mother Sonia, who took over as party’s interim chief, having relinquished the party president’s post to Rahul in December 2017.