Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday claimed that it would be difficult to find any positives in the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. His comment came days after some Congress leaders had said that demonising Modi all the time would not help the Opposition’s cause.

“From my point of view, it would be [like] looking for a needle in a haystack to find something good that he [Modi] has done,” Khurshid said, adding that he will not give “one on one” responses to the leaders who had praised Modi. “Each one of us articulates things in a manner which is suitable [to oneself].”

Khurshid added that the Congress had “very serious concerns” about the way the country was being run.

At a book launch on August 22, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had said Modi’s governance model was “not a complete negative story”, and said demonising Modi all the time would not help the Opposition’s cause. The following day, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor and Abhishek Manu Singhvi supported Ramesh.

Tharoor claimed that he had argued for six years that the prime minister should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, thereby adding credibility to the Opposition’s criticisms whenever he errs. Both Ramesh and Tharoor were criticised by sections of the Congress. Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily called for appropriate disciplinary action by the Congress against Ramesh and Tharoor, saying the remarks were unfortunate and in “very bad taste”. Tharoor had to explain his remarks to the Kerala unit of the Congress, and the party accepted his explanation on Thursday.

Khurshid on Sunday also said that the Gandhi family was the “fulcrum” of the Congress party.

“Irrespective of what the BJP might say, no matter what the results may have indicated, we still believe they [the Gandhi family] are head and shoulders, high above most of us,” he said, adding that most party workers were hoping that Sonia Gandhi would continue to remain the party chief.

On August 10, the Congress Working Committee named Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi its interim president after her son Rahul Gandhi refused another request from the party to continue in the post. She will hold the post until the party holds an election to pick a regular president. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders mocked the appointment and said the party does not have any courage.

Khurshid added that the Congress had a difficult time looking for alternatives to the Gandhis. “But when we say this, the opposition tries to question our democratic attitudes,” Khurshid said. “That is extremely unfair because there is a genuine attachment, liking and allegiance to the members of the Gandhi family. I think we have a right to make our choice.”

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