Saturday, October 8, 2022

Congress at cross roads

At a time when the ideology of liberal democracy in India is facing severe challenges, the nation’s oldest political party, the Congress is in the news for all the wrong reasons as its compounding problems within is read, discussed and debated across India and perhaps abroad. The Congress has been on a downhill slide since its devastating defeat in 2014. The party somehow managed to win in four out of 18 states that went to the polls since 2015. The party formed coalitions in two states and though it had won most seats in Manipur, Meghalaya and Goa, it failed to win support to form governments. The BJP won four states and formed coalitions in three states. After the 2014 debacle Rahul offered to quit as president but loyalists-packed party rejected his offer. Instead, Rahul was rewarded for his failure when he was elected ‘unopposed’ as party president in 2017. As the years rolled by Rahul’s incompetence and amateurish attitude began to show. His speeches were hardly inspiring as his lack of oratorical skills was exposed and neither was he able to deliver the intended message. Rahul quit as president in 2019 following the second disastrous Lok Sabha election. It was all a farce since Rahul still continued to exert powers as the party leader. Unfortunately for Rahul his amateurish politics has not won any support from the voters but left many Congress leaders embarrassed. His reference to the Modi government as the ‘suit and boot ki sarkar’ backfired. Next Rahul took on Modi by derisively calling him ‘Mr 56 inch’. Ironically, Rahul’s obsession with the ‘56 inch chest’ got the better of his senses, when he went over to the other side and hugged the ‘56 inch’ Modi in parliament in 2018. Former Congress veteran who left the party, Ghulam Nabi Azad has rightly blamed Rahul for the deterioration in the party. No self respecting and serious politician can be in a party led by a non-serious and childish leader who feels that having holidays is part of life. Replacing Rahul by choosing a permanent president is not the solution since the process itself is flawed to facilitate the election/selection of a Gandhi family loyalist-cum- puppet. The allegations made by Congress veterans themselves- former member Ghulam Nabi Azad, present members Sashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari- that the election is flawed, cannot be dismissed. Rather it only discredits the Congress in the esteem of people. The election has been postponed thrice- from August 2020 when the sycophant-filled CWC asked the ailing Sonia Gandhi to continue as interim chief for the next six months. The polls were scheduled for February 2021 but extended to March 2021. Then on January 22, 2022 the AICC sat and decided to complete the process by June end. The party further postponed the poll process and reset the date for September 20,2022. This means that the election process, if it will ever held can take place only by October or November 2022. What several former Congress leaders have said after leaving the party they served for decades, points to – a leadership that has lost touch with reality and psychologically under siege as it fights for survival and not revival.

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