Monday, 3 October, 2022
HomeOpinionPolitically CorrectWhy Congress must lose the assembly polls to stay united

Why Congress must lose the assembly polls to stay united

Indira Gandhi had twice split the Congress to take on heavyweights. Sonia Gandhi knows Rahul or Priyanka can’t do that, yet.

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In a letter to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, in 1930, Jawaharlal Nehru told her a story from Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang’s book. It was about a man from South India who came to Karnasuvarna, a city near modern-day Bhagalpur in Bihar. He wore copper plates around his waist and had a torch attached to his head. When people asked him about this strange get-up, he would tell them that he was so wise that he was afraid his belly would burst if he didn’t wear those plates. And he carried the torch because he was moved with pity for the ignorant people around him, living in darkness.

Nehru told Indira that unlike the conceited man in Hiuen Tsang’s book, he had limited wisdom and so he wouldn’t pose as a wise man and sermonise. The best way to find out what is right and what is not is not by giving a sermon, but by talking and discussing, he wrote. Nehru couldn’t have imagined then that his descendants would read his letters in Glimpses of World History and learn a different lesson from the story.

About 90 years after he wrote that letter, the Gandhi family seems to have acquired titanium plates around its waist. Instead of the torch, they have got night-vision goggles, which enable them to see in the dark while other Congress members and commoners remain blinded. Aside, Rahul Gandhi is also relieved that he is an MP from south India and not from the north (read Karnasuvarna, metaphorically).

The rebel G-23 leaders may be yelling themselves hoarse about the “weakening” of the Congress, but the Gandhi family is still oozing with confidence, with Priyanka Gandhi promising to repeal the three controversial farm laws and Rahul Gandhi vowing not to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam.

Their politics is also sorted: eating mushroom biryani and watching jallikattu with Tamil Nadu villagers, swimming with fishermen in Kerala’s Kollam, and reading Thirukkural, a revered Tamil classic that, Rahul said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn’t opened the book of.

The Gandhi family’s political wisdom is rubbing off on its loyalists, too. When veteran leader Kapil Sibal, a G-23 member, said in the context of Rahul’s ‘north-south’ remark that the Congress should respect every voter, he got a sermon from Indian Youth Congress president Srinivas BV on Twitter: “Stop lecturing party while sitting on sidelines. Congress Party need leaders on the ground….(sic)”.

Also read: Dissenting ‘G-23’ Congress leaders take the stage in Jammu, vow to ‘strengthen’ party

No ideology, leader or money

Six months after the G-23 wrote that controversial letter to Sonia Gandhi, one thing is absolutely clear: Gandhi family is so full of wisdom—like the one in Hiuen Tsang’s book—that it can’t brook any advice from others on how to run the party. It won’t allow any voice, other than the family’s, in the decision-making process—something the dissidents are seeking to achieve by demanding election to the Congress Working Committee and the Election Committee. But G-23 members aren’t ready to give up as was evident from the tone and tenor of their speeches in Jammu on Saturday.

There are broadly three elements that keep any political worker or leader bound to a party—sense of belongingness borne out of either ideological commitments or being part of a larger cause or movement; future prospects under a popular, charismatic leader who can deliver electoral successes; access to resources.

The present-day Congress has none. Most of the G-23 members—and many, many others—are committed to the Congress party’s ideology as they have come to understand it over decades. But they find the party leadership totally confused today, be it the latter’s vacillations between secularism and soft Hindutva or confusing response to national security issues, to name just two. Being a part of a movement or cause is no more about the people; it must be the Gandhi family’s cause. On the issue of charismatic leadership, most Congresspersons have as much faith in Rahul Gandhi’s ability to win elections today as Narendra Modi or Amit Shah has. As for the resources to keep their politics going, ask Congress candidates in recent assembly elections or just check with Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel who says that party candidates in recent municipal elections had to spend their own money and he himself cannot afford to do a Facebook Live because the camera would cost him Rs 7,000. (Wonder why he can’t do it on his mobile!)

The G-23 members are not the only ones in the Congress who are feeling alienated from the party (leadership).

Also read: Congress has split into three parties, and not one of them is good at politics

A do-or-die battle

So, what’s the way out of this stalemate between G-23 and the Gandhi family?

Sonia or Rahul is no Indira Gandhi. In 1969 and 1978, she had taken on Congress heavyweights and split the party. On both occasions, she had left the original party with rumps and gone on to establish her outfit as the real Congress. Then party presidents, S. Nijalingappa and Brahmananda Reddy, were in her opposition camps and had expelled her. Sonia Gandhi knows Rahul or Priyanka doesn’t have their grandmother’s charisma to get the support of a majority of Congresspersons if they were to leave the party or be expelled like Indira Gandhi. Sonia won’t, therefore, give up the reins of the Congress. When push comes to the shove, Sonia, in her capacity as interim Congress president, would be the one to take action against them.

Even though G-23 has a mass leader such as Bhupinder Singh Hooda and some current and former Members of Parliament, walking out of the Congress to form their own outfit is not an easy option. They must fight from within– as long as it lasts. They know how the high command has treated Ghulam Nabi Azad. It’s not just about his re-nomination to the Rajya Sabha. The Gandhis have sent clear signals that he should opt for political retirement because they don’t see any role for him in the party. It was Azad who had wangled 41 seats from then Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief Karunanidhi in the 2016 assembly election—despite having lost 58 of the 63 seats that the Congress had contested in the 2011 assembly election. Yet, in the 2021 assembly election, the Congress high command has chosen Oommen Chandy and Randeep Surjewala to hold seat-sharing negotiations with the DMK. Azad must read the writing on the wall. And so must the other G-23 members. This explains their gathering in Jammu on Saturday.

Also read: Congress is failing in its historic duty, and also standing in the way of defeating BJP

But G-23 members also know it’s a do-or-die battle. If they can’t galvanise enough support in the party, the Gandhi family would get back at them sooner or later—probably after getting Rahul Gandhi re-installed as Congress president in June. That’s why he is making frequent trips to Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and Priyanka, who virtually disappeared for months, is back in the field, addressing farmers’ rallies and meeting aggrieved families. If the Congress forms the government in Kerala and becomes a part of the DMK-led government in Tamil Nadu, it should bolster Rahul’s claim for party presidentship. Given the party’s dismal prospects in Assam and West Bengal, he would rather stay away from those states—or make guest appearances.

If things fall in place as planned, dissenters can be taken care of after Rahul becomes the Congress president again. If that results in a split in the party, so be it. After all, the Gandhi family is bigger than the Congress—or thinks it is.

G-23 members know it. They have two options—to get a bullet in the back or in the chest. This means that the choice of backing down is not available any longer. They must be looking at opinion polls anxiously. As predicted, if the Congress gets another electoral drubbing, the Gandhi family may feel compelled to make a calculated retreat and talk peace while nursing its injured pride and preparing to fight another day. Otherwise, another split in the Congress looks inevitable.

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  1. Congress lost its way decades ago, and in desperation, even tried their own Hindutva-lite outreach to taken on the BJP, which flopped abysmally…but that hasn’t stopped them from trying once again to entice Hindu voters with their own new-and-improved Hindu-lite images…may even fool some but not enough to make any discernible difference.

  2. propaganda couched as worthless OPINION OF A GODI “GIVEN LITTLE BIT EXTRA” by IT CELL.. Cong. will be relevant as long as significant number of people vote for them.. But for Hooda none of the G-7 (23 are now reeduced to 7) can save their deposits in their home seats.. Adhir R Chaudhari said right ” this is SCRIPTED DRAMA to please their future master” Only fools & brainwashed bhakts think that the G-23 are capable of SPLITTING INC.

  3. 2021, is not 1969 or 1978. Pappu and Pappy are no match to Indira. And above all, Modi is not Vajpayee or Advani. Modi plays like Indira Gandhi, that everything is good in love and war. And the praise of Gulam Azaad, and long rope to Sibbal, should be eye opener. The G-23 is not spontaneous reaction.

  4. In congress party with out gandhi family it is impossible….& slaves don’t dare to challenge failed Rahul, …in short whether they remain united/ decided…its end is sure….before 2024…..

  5. It’s a fact that so many such leaders are there in India who think they are full of wisdom and they only have wisdom and they only are patriots. It’s a common disease with all parties, even small regional parties. Though I am not a hardened follower of Nehru family, one thing surprised me is that since decades many parties including BJP, kept blaming Nehru family for everything, they are called as highly corrupt and all kind of abuses, yet not a single member of that family is sent to jail, not a single person booked for corruption, despite other parties and groups coming to power many time. What does it speak? So, it had become an essential agenda to tarnish the image of Nehru family members just to defeat Congress. Likewise, I don’t find any other individual or family fully engaged, fully involved 24×7 in the party works, including those who where raising voice about their leadership. Also , a point worth penning is There is not a single party in India where inner party democracy is there. Every party is run by One or Two individuals or families . Then why singling out Congress? So, what we as common people see is whether the leader whomsoever, is capable to raise National issues, whether he is capable to make the public listen, whether he himself is a criminal or highly corrupt, whether he is educated, have some ideas for betterment of public, Nation as a whole. If he has that quality, we will follow him/her without seeing , from which part of country and which family he or she is coming from.. In short a leader doing good is Good and doing bad is Bad.

  6. Dont build your palace on others fall. Congress is following demoracy. In healthy democracy dissent voices never be suppressed.

    • @Yembee: Ha!! Ha!! Dissent in a democracy doesn’t mean burning the country or going against national interest!! ONLY the brainless & rather fascist leftists/communists in India can claim that free speech & dissent of hate against Hindus & India is democracy!! Even in USA, they don’t go to that extent of stupidity!!

      Yet!! The liberal/democrat leader of the so so called free world, USA talks of Muslim rights everywhere while swearing on the bible!! WHY doesn’t he talk of Hindu rights in Kashmir/India?? WHY doesn’t he or Islamic heaven Pakistan not call out China on real genocide of Muslims there?? Biden even lets China off the hook saying it’s difference of culture!!

      Meanwhile, when there are Muslim riots, all these leftists fascists blame Hindus, not Muslim who are always creating trouble everywhere in the democratic world!! These hypocrites & liars remain silent on Hindu genocide in Kashmir & lynching of more than 200 dalits/Hindus every year!!

  7. Pleasse let the Gandhi family circus continue. It has entertainment value – not much politics, national development or people upliftment.

  8. You don’t say anything when Modi sidelined senior leaders like Advani, Joshi et al. But your cuppa of grief comes to brim when a Ghulam Nabi Azad is not renominated. All those leaders huddling in Kashmir should have been in poll bound states to campaign for the party. They have betrayed the party.

    • I agree with you that G 23 should have taken part in the states where the elections are going to be held.

    • This doesn’t work like your party… Grow above 80, can’t walk but still hold politicals position , irrespective of their work for their society ( like if they can work or not) you are a Ghulam Pande ji, stay a Ghulam, do not try to Go above that,it’s worthless for people like you… You are the reason,why people who don’t get an erection , do even stand for elections and win. Change your thinking. Ask your leader to Get his Mental Fitness done, rather than physical Fitness and 6 packs abs.

  9. it is impossible for congress to remian united. if it loses the assembly poll wihch it might from all indications, it will open further cans of worms.

  10. Excellent! Very insightful analysis. Ideally DK Singh should recommend retirement to the Gandhis. Good riddance.

  11. Rahul Gandhi not going to implement the CAA in Assam? WTH man! Does Rahul Gandhi even know that it was fmr.PM Rajiv Gandhi who agreed to CAA for the people of Assam in the Assam Accords back in the 1980’s?

  12. Interesting analysis.But now with the BPF also joining the mahajath, some analysts in Assam feel it will be a close fight there.Also, Bhupesh Baghel is trying his level best there.Even during Chhatisgarh elections a couple of years ago, nobody expected that kind of a landslide for the Congress..But the Central government and the State government have developed a lot of connectivity projects which will attract voters.But Assam can be close fight.

  13. Agree with the author partially. The congress might split, but that would be so inconsequential it might as well be considered no split. The reason is that people would go to G-23 only if they see bright electoral prospects. But there are no election winning people there. There are possibly two popular leaders in congress and they are cms in their respective states, and they are happy with Rahul & co. As long as popular leaders back Rahul or are indifferent to Rahul, nothing would change on the ground.
    Although a bit late, congress has identified that these G-23 are paper tigers, they dont have what it takes to win the election. (Neither does Rahul, but Rahul ultimately belongs to ‘The Family’)
    But the article is extremely well written, it is not offensive, but does send a strong message. Time well spent

  14. RG and PG are working with revenge -mentality. They clearly know that they don t have any political future . At the most they can become M.P. from a NON-HINDU majority seats only. They want to destroy the careers of aspiring young Congressmen/women . This has been mentality of the defeated warriors the world over who are sure of loosing battle. They want their generals and foot solders BE KILLED by enemy before they themselves — (A ) are captured ,or (B) killed, or (C) or Surrender. This has been looser s psychology. This is fully in action now -a-days . Only Contributors to thePrint can not see this. Like the Bhatts of ancient period they they keep on chanting prose and poems in praise of loosing princes.

    • Well said Mr. Arora! I would add, if India has to have a future, it must rapidly espouse and promote the Hindu civilization-al nation!! This means it has to act like one and bring back the true history, icons & legacy eliminated by the commies of congress!!

      No one calls the German Christian democratic party or American president taking oath on the bible fascist! No one even calls Islamic Pakistan/Bangladesh who have been killing Hindus since decades fascists & genocide-rs!!

      It’s only congress & it’s commie/Jihadi allies who are responsible for the catastrophic Indian civilization-al & economic performance while a totalitarian & fascist nation; China, has taken the lead!!

    • @Vikram Arora: One should be careful about these communists & allies before they are completely eliminated!! See how Biden, a quasi dementia patient has been made American president possibly through fraudulent means!! These democrats who opposed any rights for the black people are now supporting black lives matter!! These ultra leftist/communists are snakes !!

  15. ….yes, Congress has to lose the polls to stay united under the able leadership of visionary “youth leader” (52 years old), Shri Pappu Ji.

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