"Slow and ineffective" response to allegations of scams under the erstwhile UPA government strengthened anti-Congress impressions in the minds of voters which resulted in party's poor show in the Lok Sabha polls, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said here today.
"The slow and ineffective response by Congress to the allegations of various scams levelled by entire opposition not only dented the party's image but changed the mind of people in the country. The allegations probably prompted voters to think (whether) to vote for Congress," Aiyar said while addressing a press conference.
He was in the city to speak at a programme on Panchayati Raj organised by former MPCC chief Ranjit Deshmukh.
The former Union minister rubbished the question of change in leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the wake of massive defeat and asserted that Congress will bounce back.
"Though defeat is not new for Congress and for that matter for any political party but Congress will bounce back," he said.
Elaborating on the "slow response" by Congress ministers, Aiyar said, "The CAG had quoted presumptive losses in the spectrum allocation to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crores, but then Telecom minister Kapil Sibal reacted about three months latter. By the time, people had accepted allegations as true and carried the impressions during the general election in April".
He said that even nominations announced by Congress were "quite late" in some cases.
"In the Chennai-South seat the ticket to the party nominee was announced just two hours before the closing of filing of nominations in Tamil Nadu," the former Union minister said.
Referring to the Bofors case, Aiyar said, "Another set of people had levelled serious allegations in the Bofors gun deal against then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, which proved to be wrong in the course of time".
"There was no iota of truth in the allegations and I was personally knowing Rajiv who was away from all such under-hand dealings," he said.