After spending over 20 years in the Congress, Alka Lamba quit the party to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). She told dna that the Congress is a sinking ship and that Rahul Gandhi does not even have five minutes for his colleagues.
Why this sudden decision to quit the Congress?
I had been thinking about it for over three years. I had no role in the party for three years and was made to feel that I was not required. I wanted to work for people, but it was getting very difficult in the Congress culture.
What is this Congress culture?
Months before the elections, I wrote several letters to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi about the state of the Congress in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. I told Sheila Dikshit that she may lose the election and even offered to help her in her constituency, but she flatly refused. For the past year, I have been trying to seek Rahul Gandhi’s time, but he does not seem to have even five minutes for his colleagues.
But he has an organised office fleet to deal with queries of party men?
That is where the problem is. His way of managing office may be good for a corporate house, but not for a political party. I wrote several letters and emails to him about the health of the party, but I don’t know if they reached him. You have to cross several people before you can meet him. People around him aren’t giving him correct feedback. If Rahul cannot connect with his party people, how will he connect with the masses?
Are you saying he is unaware?
I don’t know if he is unaware or pretends to be. He does not want critics around him. No matter how much he tries to connect with the common man, he only loves people who have Godfathers in the Congress. Tell me one young leader around him who has come from the grassroots?
Are you saying there is dynastic politics in the Congress?
Of course. What is Rahul Gandhi’s claim to fame? Why should Priyanka Gandhi be promoted? Because she resembles Mrs Indira Gandhi? Everyone in the Congress wants to keep the first family happy.
Is that the reason why you joined AAP?
I don’t agree with the BJP’s ideology. Manish Sisodia offered me a ticket before the Delhi polls, but I was a Congress loyalist. Now that the dust has settled, I joined AAP... I want to work freely which I could never do in the Congress.