Allahabad: A small poster mounted in Allahabad asks for Rahul Gandhi to be fired as the no 2 leader of the Congress. The poster suggests Mr Gandhi be replaced by his younger sister, Priyanka.
The giant missive is the work of Haseeb Ahmed, a Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh who says that Priyanka, 42, deserves a larger role in the party after her brother fronted the Congress national campaign with disastrous results – the party is groaning under the weight of its worst performance ever, landing just 44 Parliamentary seats.
In Uttar Pradesh, which elects the most law-makers, the Congress won just two seats – Rahul Gandhi and his mother, Sonia, who is Congress president.
Priyanka did not run for election; she managed the campaigns of her brother and mother, and constructed an aggressive attack on Narendra Modi, who led the BJP to a landslide win.
Mr Ahmed is her unabashed fan. He has in the past owned up to pro-Priyanka posters, and was temporarily removed from the Congress for his indiscipline.
Priyanka says that though her brother encourages her to play a larger role, she does not want to formally join politics.
Meetings of the Congress’ top leaders today in Delhi will inquest the party’s crushing defeat. Despite severe criticism, several heavy-hitters have said that Mr Gandhi cannot be held responsible for the disaster, fuelling the perception of the Congress as a party mired by its sycophancy for its First Family.