File image of former Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot (left) and CM Ashok Gehlot | Photo: ANI
File image of former Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot (left) and CM Ashok Gehlot | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: What transpires between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot today is symptomatic of a larger malaise within the Congress Party, said ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in episode 521 of ‘Cut The Clutter’.

“In the last two decades or so, what has changed within the Congress party is also what has remained the same,” said Gupta.

What has changed most of all is the strength of the dynasty that rules the Congress Party, that is the strength of the Gandhi family. They simply cannot get votes for their party men and women to get elected anymore. In fact, they struggle to get votes for themselves.

In the 2019 elections, then party president Rahul Gandhi lost his Amethi seat by a sizeable number of votes. So the ability of the Gandhi family now to get votes for their own is gone.

That’s a big disadvantage in politics and yet what hasn’t changed is their control over the party, which is probably the strongest-ever in the history of the Congress.

India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had people who rebelled against him and who challenged him in the cabinet. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi, too, had rebellions within her system.

However, the Congress of today has no such problem.

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This is the basic contradiction of the party.


Also read: Sachin Pilot’s anger is misplaced. Ashok Gehlot isn’t the enemy, Congress culture is


Sustaining Congress’ fundamental contradiction 

This has happened because of the way the Congress party is constructed — it does not have a strong ideology binding people. Most of the leaders in the Congress Party inherited their positions such as Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Jitin Prasada, and now BJP member Jyotiraditya Scindia.

While they may swear by their ideological commitment — that only comes later. They want power.

Now, once you are there for power, then one thing you worry about is that one of your peers will reach the top. So then you get the ‘crabs in the pitcher’ syndrome, which means if any crab is climbing up, other crabs will pull it down.

On the other hand, if you have somebody from the dynasty, who you know is entitled to rule the party but at the same time they don’t threaten you because you are not in competition with him or her, then you accept their dominance. In this sense, the Gandhis don’t threaten anybody.

This is also why whenever you have a P.V. Narasimha Rao or Sita Ram Kesari and they give you instructions, nobody follows them.

However, when the Gandhi’s do some such thing, everybody falls in line because they are the leaders by default. So that is how this contradiction is sustained.


Also read: BJP is sceptical about Sachin Pilot’s numbers, says it’s ready to play a ‘Test match’


Rise of smaller, more effective dynasties

In many regions across the country, new dynasties have come up and have essentially taken away the Congress party’s vote, which has now become the ‘C team’ in these states. The latest example of this was Maharashtra where even the National Congress Party (NCP) went ahead of the Congress.

Other dynasties in different parts of the country include the Abdullahs in Kashmir, Badals in Punjab, Chauatalas and the Bansi Lal dynasty in Haryana, Chandra Babu Naidu’s dynasty in Andhra Pradesh and the YSR-Jagan Mohan Reddy dynasty in the same state, KCR-KTR dynasty in Telangana, Karunandihi-Stalin in Tamil Nadu, Gowdas in Karnataka, Thackerays and Pawars in Maharashtra, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan’s dynasties in Bihar, Patnaiks in Odisha and the Sangmas in Meghalaya — among many others.

While the Congress Party is ruled by a dynasty that cannot get votes, there are 15-20 other mini dynasties whose leaders can build both vote-banks and keep them together.

So the Congress Party suffers both ways and this is the reason why its in such a big mess.

Even within the Congress party, many dynasties have come up, for instance the Amarinder Singh dynasty in Punjab, the Hoodas and the Surjewalas in Haryana, and the Dikshits in Delhi, among others.

This points towards a greater problem in the Congress. They still think they are leaders but most of them cannot win their own seats — ‘Rassi jal gayi lekin bal nahi gaya’ (the rope is burnt but the perception of strength is intact).

Watch the latest episode of CTC here: 


Also read: How and why Ashok Gehlot ‘baited’ Sachin Pilot to turn rebel


 

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6 Comments Share Your Views

6 COMMENTS

  1. This creates a clear contrast with how the BJP is organised and run as a party. Very few dynasts (if any) are part of the organisation. The moment Congress gives up on the family and dynasty, a big chunk of urban literate voters will take the party more seriously.

  2. This creates a brilliant contrast with how the BJP is organised and run as a party. Very few dynasts (if any) are part of the organisation. The moment Congress gives up on the family and dynasty, a big chunk of urban literate voters will take the party more seriously.

  3. This creates a brilliant contrast with how the BJP is organised and run as a party. Very few dynasts (if any) are part of the organisation. The moment Congress gives up on the family and dynasty, a big chunk of urban literate voters will take the party more seriously.

  4. QE II, although a constitutional monarch, takes her royal duties very seriously, works hard, despite the trappings of opulence and luxury. RG does not. Lazy. Unwilling even to exert enough to lift the champagne flute to his lips. He will have the privilege of drawing the curtain on a soap opera that has run for too long.

  5. CONGRASS policy of dividing HINDUS and SUPPORTING proselytizers religious leaders helped them in getting votes. And controlling HINDUS who are more interested in scientific education having realised the congrass ploy of divide Hindus and rule INDIA are no longer voting for congrass and hence people are deserting congrass in droves.

  6. Partly agree with you view about congress culture. But, we should not forget that the old generation of congress me are power hungry past their utility. In fact they divide and rule the state leaders so that no one questions them. Before the next general election only a few gandhis and ghelots will be left in the part. if they do not nurture young leaders. Scindia deserted in MP and you can see the result. It is just a matter of time before Rajasthan and Maharastra follow suit.

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