New Delhi: Hitting out at Congress over the Uttarakhand crisis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said its leaders were quitting the party which had become a "sinking ship" due to a "serious leadership crisis".
"There is a serious leadership crisis in Congress. It has become a sinking ship and its leaders are leaving it as soon as they get a chance. Rahul Gandhi should not blame BJP for it," party National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said.
Mr Sharma's comments came after the Congress Vice President slammed the BJP over the crisis facing its government in Uttarakhand, accusing it of working to topple its government with "horse trading and blatant misuse of money and muscle".
He claimed that Congress lawmakers in Uttarakhand had long been discontented and it was due to this that the party had to remove Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna earlier and was now faced with rebellion against another chief minister.
"Rahul Gandhi is sad and disappointed over the state of affairs in his party. He should put his own house in order instead of blaming others for his failures," Mr Sharma said.
He alleged that Congress had been shrinking since Sonia Gandhi took over its leadership and had been losing one state election after another following its loss in the Lok Sabha polls.
Congress government in Uttarkhand led by Harish Rawat plunged into a crisis two days ago with nine party lawmakers turning rebels and opposition BJP approaching the Governor staking claim to form the government.
On Saturday, Governor Krishna Kant Paul had asked Mr Rawat to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly by March 28.
The Governor's directive came even as the BJP claimed majority with the support of nine rebel Congress MLAs in the 70-member House.