The Congress’ selection of 10 candidates for the biennial election to the Rajya Sabha has, as usual, caused heart burn to the unlucky ones but the process leaves some questions on the spirit and legitimacy of the decisions the party took at the Chintan Shivir it had organised recently in what was claimed to be an attempt to rejuvenate itself. The party had said there will be one ticket for one family when it comes to elections but that has been violated in the process. Half of the tickets would be given to leaders below 50, it had decided, but only two persons of that category made it to the list of 10 this time around.
Resentment is brewing in the party for the catastrophic decision to impose a posse of leaders from outside to represent the states which returned Congress governments. All the three seats in Rajasthan, which goes to the polls later this year, and both the seats in Chhattisgarh, are given to leaders from other states, leaving local leaders red-faced. The party has chosen to pay back the loyalists of the leadership and this has resulted in three leaders from Uttar Pradesh, which elected only two Congress members to its legislative Assembly, chosen to be sent to the Council of States.
The grand old party of Indian politics that has been teetering from one blunder to another and wandering clueless on how to take on the Narendra Modi government has of late given out some signals to its followers that it was serious about a course correction. The Chintan Shivir was cited as the firm commitment of the party’s leadership to that goal. But less than a month after the jamboree, it has proved that the more it wants to change, the more it remains the same. It has no plans to shed its image of being an organisation run by coteries. It would be ideal if the party declares that it won’t change. That way, it can at least claim that it’s honest about its intentions.