It’s Raining Desertions: CONGRESS PARTY OF LOLITAS…

By Sarkaritel February 3, 2015 11:35

It’s Raining Desertions: CONGRESS PARTY OF LOLITAS…

It’s Raining Desertions


By Poonam I Kaushish

Political Delhi resembles a battle field as Parties trade charges and finger point in the run-up to polls in four days. Amidst the daily hectoring between BJP and AAP, the indolent Congress was “taxed” by former Union Minister Jayanti Natrajan quitting the Party accusing Gandhi scion Rahul of “planting stories vilifying and defaming me in the media”. Underscoring, yet again, the state of slothfulness is such that eating crow has become the Congress hallmark!

Notably, the issue is not about Jayanti quitting/ sacking, why she remained quite for over a year or about the CBI probing five Preliminary Enquiries against her. Nor is it regarding senior leaders Krishna Tirath, Birender Singh, Jagmeet Brar and GK Vasan deserting the Party or noises of discontent from seniors like ex-Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit and Finance Minister Chidambaram and son Karti, Shashi Tharoor et al.

Clearly, for all practical purposes, maa-beta duo Sonia-Rahul seems to have lost the plot. Crippled by rank desertions, indiscipline, perennial squabbling among senior leaders resulting in a virtual free-for-all with big, small and petty leaders all pulling in different directions who at best can come up with tokenism and “me-tooism”.

Not a few senior leaders are worried that politics could spin out of control in the next three months. Privately they count how many more such acts may be in the pipeline at a time when the Party is caught in a whirlpool of political and electoral crises and is confronted with a firmly entrenched BJP.

Slowly but surely the Congress finds itself in an existential battle and faces multiple challenges: Effectiveness of Rahul’s style and inner-Party experiments and the negative tag of being a ‘reluctant leader’. In fact, Congressmen are quietly questioning Sonia’s intentions and policy of protecting-her-son-at-all-cost.

Bringing things to such a pass that it has became increasingly difficult to decipher who are the heroes and who the villains. Resulting in a blame game between the veterans and Rahul’s “rudderless coterie with each blaming the other for inertia, ghooskhori and lack of grassroot desi connect to counter NaMo’s Hindutva symbolism and nationalistic zeal.

Indeed, the Party has become a prisoner of the highly personalised, feudal functioning and outlook. In such a Congress system the entire pyramid fastens leech-like feeds on the “undaate”, living off her goodwill. Only those who serve loyalty flourish in the “nomination culture”. Said a disgusted neta, “The decision-making process is so slow. If Soniaji continues with her status quo policy then the Party will fall apart.”

Sarcastically commented a senior leader, “Our Yuvaraj wants to build the Party from scratch, but how can he clear the Congress millstones when his own balance sheet shows a nil balance?”

The most unpleasant aspect is the withering of internal democracy. It has made the Party hopelessly dependent on initiative from the Congress President and tragically immobile in its absence. What is more, Congressmen keep scoring debating points against each other and turning every issue into a dissident versus loyalist question. Of sycophants who are as loyal as Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita!

The biggest enemy of the Party is the Congress itself. If the internal discord that has now surfaced continues it could have serious ramifications. The Party suffers on two scores: One, a severe ‘leaders’ crisis. Two, there is no democracy within the Grand Dame. Notwithstanding, pot shots taken by second-rung leaders against each other explained as the Congress’ democratic ways. Sic.

Sadly, the system has become so dynastic in mindset that none even contemplate anyone else. This is all the more ironical as there is no paucity of talent within the Party. Disgruntled leaders, dejected workers and directionless cadres surreptitiously and quietly blame Rahul and his coterie for the ills that afflict the Party. True, nobody has openly asked for Rahul’s head but if he continues his abrasive style of functioning it could be difficult to quell the storm.

On the obverse, Rahul loyalist asserts, “It takes two to tango. Till it suited Partymen they rooted for the Dynasty but now they paint the Vice President as a villain. Besides, with only 44 things can only get better. So Congressmen can continue to be slaves of the dynasty.” QED.

Importantly, the Congress needs to find answers to why it has become so weak and what should be the mantra to re-charge the Party apparatus? Notwithstanding, the maa-beta duo pitching for waging a “long and forceful war to recover ground.” True, both diagnose the problem but cannot come up with convincing answers to galvanize its cadres.

Specially, against the backdrop of the Party’s shrinking vote nation-wide and the need to expand its organization and social base in the States ruled by allies or Opposition parties. An instance, in the run-up to the Delhi polls the battle has narrowed down to between BJP and AAP with the Grand Dame non-existent!

This apart, it seems Sonia herself is unsure whether Rahul can lead from the front. Stories abound of how she discounted Rahul move to keep the UPPCC lean and appointed a mammoth 92 member committee instead. Privately, many lament Rahul’s inaccessibility and his dependence on a couple of his assistants and computer print-outs. It is worrying. Added another, “We don’t need any more credentials beyond the Gandhi surname but, surely, we want action.

In the final analysis, the Congress has to look inward urgently and do some serious thinking to grapple with the internal contradictions and work towards intra-Party harmony. The Party needs to look beyond Sonia-Rahul and find answers. Remember, no leader howsoever mighty and powerful is indispensable.

But in a moribund Party with old entrenched war horses it will be a while before Rahul would find his place in the Congress sun notwithstanding the sycophancy which goes with his dynastic status. His s ardent supporters assert he has to get rid of the negative tag of being a ‘reluctant leader’.

Thus, in its comatose state many wonder how the Party hopes to reinvent itself and stand to be counted as a national Party. Fingers are crossed that Rahul would brush under the carpet all the Party’s misdemeanours, scandals and desertions which continue to pop up like the proverbial bad penny, leaving the Party more deflated than ever. Provide a new direction, sense of consolidation and organizational renewal.

Can Sonia-Rahul bring about a radical transformation? Move beyond the politics of entitlement to fulfil the surging aspirations of the aam aadmi? Said an aspiring youth, “In today’s world, politics is indeed rocket science. Only those who practice it know the nuances and science of it.”

It needs a lesson in political ABC, aggression, bounce and confidence. Is it capable of turning a new leaf? It would do well to remember a Talmud saying: Power buries those who wield it. Politics is a heartless and unforgiving mistress. —– INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

By Sarkaritel February 3, 2015 11:35