For Congress, it's better to act late, than never!
Though the need of the hour is to have a strong Opposition which can show the mirror to the ruling party at the Centre and question its omissions and commissions, it is unfortunate that the Congress refuses to set its house in order
Though the need of the hour is to have a strong Opposition which can show the mirror to the ruling party at the Centre and question its omissions and commissions, it is unfortunate that the Congress refuses to set its house in order. Rahul Gandhi, who, of late, has been building muscles at the gym is still not willing to take up the challenge of becoming a leader and flex his muscles. He has been taking jibes at the Modi government saying for the BJP it is 'Hum Do Hamare Do', but never takes forward the fight against what he believes has been going wrong in the country. The Congress, ever since it lost power in 2014, never made serious efforts to bounce back.
It continues to suffer from leadership crisis leading to failure to take on the Modi government. Another major crisis the party faces is that of organisation and lack of a proper leader to guide the party rank and file. The party has been consistently losing ground since 2019 general elections where it could not win more than 52 seats. It somehow managed to squeeze (not lead) into government in Maharashtra as coalition partner but failed to win in Haryana, failed in Delhi, lost power in Madhya Pradesh and the experiment of Mahagatbandhan in Bihar miserably failed. In West Bengal, it has forged an alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF). This has raised many an eyebrow. It is facing tough challenge in Assam and in Tamil Nadu it will be a junior partner to the DMK. In Kerala, if the local body elections are any indication, it becomes clear that the Congress has lost chance to come to power there as well. Against this backdrop, it is but natural that the leadership issue has once again come to haunt the grand old party.
The interim party president Sonia Gandhi's health does not permit her to go for campaign, so it is being led by Rahul Gandhi in his capacity as Lok Sabha MP, Priyanka Vadra as party general secretary for UP. Hence, the G-23 meeting gains importance. If the outcome of the meeting is any indication, it seems they are in favour of Ghulam Nabi Azad as the potential Congress president. But then the non-G-23 group is unable to digest the fact that Modi had praised Azad and became emotional and in return, Azad praised Modi.
This mutual appreciation at a time when the election campaign is on has caused embarrassment to the non-G-23 group which feels that may be the next destination of Azad is the BJP. There is another section which feels that such open rebellion should not be tolerated. This section supports the theory that the party leadership should not be passed on to non-Gandhi family member. The fight in the Congress has reached a decisive phase and the results of the Assembly polls in the five poll-bound States may see an end to the protracted battle.
Some within the Congress feel that one way of dousing the fire is to send Azad again to Rajya Sabha. But those who have been through the thick and thin of the party politics feel that such fire fighting measures cannot be a solution. The Congress should have done serious introspection in August when the G-23 fired its first salvo and tried to set the house in order. It failed to do so and even now the Sonia-Rahul loyalists are only lashing at the G-23 leaders.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "It would have been better if they helped the Congress in five election-bound States. These are respected leaders and we respect them. Soniaji made (Azad) the Chief Minister. Indiraji bestowed on him Cabinet berth in the Central government. He has been a general secretary in the party and has exercised supervision over 20 States across the nation," he said.
The G-23 retorted saying that no one from AICC contacted them to campaign for the party in poll-bound States. Its high time the party took measures to end the leadership tussle and gave a new direction to the rank at least now so that it can hope to regain its lost ground by next general elections.