The blame-game within the Congress after its worst-ever drubbing grew louder with a party leader and former MP citing the "arrogance and behaviour" of its Ministers as the foremost reason for the party's defeat and lowering of its image in the eyes of the public.
Former MP and party spokesperson Raj Babbar today said that everyone should take responsibility for the defeat, but stressed that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi's support was needed "far more than before" to help re-establish the party.
He was speaking after former Congress Working Committee member Jagmit Singh Brar yesterday created a flutter with his remarks that there was "no harm" if Sonia and Rahul take a two-year break in the wake of Lok Sabha poll debacle.
His party colleague and former Minister Manish Tewari, however said, the finger-pointing should be avoided.
"What Brar has said that everyone should take the responsibility, there is no second thought about it. Obviously, everyone should take responsibility. But as far as Soniaji and Rahulji are concerned, in today's scenario if Congress has to re-establish itself, their contribution and their support is needed far more than before," Babbar said.
Citing reasons for the Congress debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, the actor-turned-politician said, "The foremost reason is that in our government, the Ministers we had, their arrogance, their behaviour degraded the image of Congress in the eyes of the people."
Tewari said the results of Lok Sabha elections were not up to the expectations of the party, "but that does not mean that we start indulging and make allegations."
He said there is a larger challenge of fundamentalism and communalism facing the country. He called for all right-thinking, progressive and secular parties and people to come together, saying as Congress has been the central point of politics of pluralism.
"Therefore, it is very essential that the Congress closes ranks, it remains united and this unnecessary finger pointing is completely avoided," Tewari said.
In his outburst, Brar had sought to blame all party general secretaries for the Congress debacle and said they should have resigned by now after the worst drubbing of Congress. He had also demanded handing over the party's mantle to a new set of leaders.
BJP, however, took pot-shots at the Congress saying it can only hope for a a revival if it is freed from the "hands of the Nehru-Gandhi" family and handed over to the common party workers.