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DC Edit | Cong must keep flock together in Rajasthan


Published on: November 3, 2022 | Updated on: November 3, 2022

The knives are out again in the Congress unit in Rajasthan (Photo: PTI)

The knives are out again in the Congress unit in Rajasthan, one of the two states in which the party runs a government. Disgruntled former Pradesh Congress Committee president and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot has latched on to a statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he has been working with chief minister Ashok Gehlot for long and that he is one of the senior most chief ministers. Mr Modi made no political comment, nor made a gesture which can even remotely be interpreted politically but Mr Pilot saw some signs.

On the face of it, Mr Pilot is in a desperate mood to make the Congress leadership understand that his demand for an honourable settlement with Mr Gehlot is pending. The party’s general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal had said that the party leadership will take a call on the issue of leadership in the state soon in the wake of the rebellion in the legislature party when the party high command made a failed attempt to draft Mr Gehlot for the top job in the party.

When desperation becomes inspiration, the outcome could be uncomfortable and the newly minted Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge must attend to it.
The Congress has been drifting in autopilot mode for quite some time now. It can produce undesirable consequences not only for the party but also for the nation’s polity when the principal Opposition party displays an uncanny love for adhocism, and for long. The grand old party has lost power or share in power in three big states — Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra — and several others to the machinations of the ruling dispensation. It happened on the watch of the leadership which either took its time or arrived at no decision at all. It did not even care for the moral high ground it was offered when it lost its governments; it chose to accept them all as fate. A leadership which walked the path of self-destruction in the border state of Punjab had little else to do.

The leadership will be unwise to encourage the notion that everyone is happy with its decisions or indecision: The 1,000-plus votes Shashi Tharoor polled in the Congress presidential election is a strong signal that the so-called high command is not on a strong wicket and there is a generation of partymen and partywomen who want a change.   

Elections and governments are the main business of a political party; there is no escape from that. The Congress is in government or the main Opposition party in most of the nine states that will go to polls in a year. The case is stark in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh; the two states which will elect new governments in a month, where the party put up a decent fight the last time. The party shows no sign of change even at a time when its political rival micromanages its affairs in 24x7 mode. It is in no position to afford further drifting, when no Bharat Jodo Yatra can salvage the situation.