“I say this in all seriousness, without exaggeration, without anger, without any emotion – Congress should die,” Yogendra Yadav said.

Exit poll numbers flooded TV screens on Sunday, when the last phase of polling for Lok Sabha 2019 came to an end. There was much debate and speculation as to what the future looks like for politics in India, with all exit polls predicting return of the BJP-led NDA coalition with a comfortable majority. Amidst this, Swaraj India head Yogendra Yadav stirred controversy when he said on India Today that the major national opposition party – the Congress – should “die” as it had failed to protect the idea of India from the BJP.

“I say this in all seriousness, without exaggeration, without anger, without any emotion – Congress should die. This was an election for the soul of India. At stake was the very idea of India. And if this party called Congress, which says it stands for constitutional values, which says it stands for secular India, cannot put up a resistance, cannot put fight against BJP, it has no reason to exist. This party has finished its historic role in India. Today, Congress represents the single biggest obstacle in the path of creating an alternative. If this is the broad trend, this country desperately needs an alternative to this divisive politics; and clearly, the established opposition has failed to do it. There is a desperate need for an alternative,” Yogendra said.

Retweeting this clip, Yogendra reiterated that the Congress was only being an obstacle to an alternative.

However, many including Congress national spokesperson Khushbu Sundar, Apsara R of the Mahila Congress, and journalist Sanjukta Basu disagreed, reacting strongly on Twitter. While some said that the Congress had an indispensable role to play in the freedom struggle, others argued that it was the public discourse that nitpicks Rahul Gandhi’s mistakes and harbours animosity for the Gandhi family, which have done more harm than good this election.

Others said that the Congress needed to reinvent itself to remain relevant, and that dynasty politics needed to be done away with in the party, and some agreed with Yogendra.

There were some who also questioned what Yogendra Yadav and his party were doing to help the situation.