New Delhi: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has kicked up a storm after his comment on Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In an interview to national daily 'The Indian Express', he has said that the root of the problems plaguing the Congress was the lack of "ideological direction" from its next generation leader Rahul Gandhi.
Khurshid also said that the governance and politics had not been the strong points of UPA-II, hinting that the Prime Minister was not in charge of the government.
Khurshid told 'The Indian Express', "We need a new ideology to be given by our next generation leader Rahul Gandhi to move forward and to meet contemporary challenges. The fact is that he is undoubtedly and unquestionably the number two leader in the party. Yet he has not taken up the mantle or accepted a functional responsibility. He is so far not willing to accept the number two position."
"In UPA II, governance and politics have all got intermingled. The political props have got mixed up. It's a scattered situation. The stage has to be set up again and only the Congress president can do it. She is the one who has the stature. The Prime Minister can then run the government, but he cannot set the stage," Khurshid added.
When asked about India's economic crisis, Khurshid said, "It's not only economic reforms that have slowed down. Even political and administrative reforms have not happened because of this situation."
Samajwadi Party leader Shahid Siddiqui welcomed Khurshid's remark saying Rahul is not a leader material. "He has spoken the truth. Khurshid has come out openly and I welcome it. The Manmohan Singh government is directionless, because of which the economy is suffering, people are suffering. Rahul Gandhi is not a leader material. He doesn't have any ideology, his fundamentals are not clear. There is no co-ordination in the government and the party," he said.
BJP leader Kalraj Mishra also said that the Congress should take Khurshid's comment seriously. "The Congress should take his comment seriously. He has told what he felt. Manmohan Singh is a weak Prime Minister, he doesn't have control over his Cabinet," Mishra said.
The Congress has now asked Khurshid to clarify his comments, according to sources.