Salman Khurshid said he supports the Gandhi family because of personal gratitude (File)

New Delhi: 

Rahul Gandhi should return as the president of the Congress, senior party leader Salman Khurshid said on Saturday, days after he remarked that the party was not able to introspect its Lok Sabha poll debacle as “its leader had walked away” after the election.

The Congress had seemingly disapproved Mr Khurshid’s “walked away” remarks with party spokesperson Pawan Khera saying people should avoid making such comments and work towards exposing the BJP government’s follies instead.

In a long Facebook post on Friday, Mr Khurshid referred to the uproar over his remarks, saying, “I am amazed at being lectured by people who know little about personal faithfulness or political strategy. So once for all I hereby let them know that I believe faith and allegiance is about trust and personal choice. Yet for grown ups it has no place for unqualified awe and deference, real or contrived.”

“I support the Gandhi family because of personal gratitude and understanding of history and Indian democracy,” he said.

Strategic silence is sensible in critical moments but equally speaking up is an imperative for collective future, Mr Khurshid said in what he termed as his letter to his colleagues in the Congress and “people who are listening”.

Asserting that only dead fish flow with the water, Mr Khurshid said the Congress is not like the BJP and must never be.

“When our spokesperson points to our duty to counter the BJP he must remember it is possible only if we can manifest our different world view and expression of a mind without fear. The battle we join is not mere screaming ossified phrases against the RSS but in how we react to specific situations, including of conflict,” the former Union minister said.

The Congress must prepare for a “grand war” to save the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and not petty skirmishes of transitory populism.

“Finally, our opponents and media can eat their hearts out but I do believe that Rahul Gandhi is our leader, he should return as president of our grand party that Soniaji will continue to inspire,” the 66-year-old leader said.

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