No sycophancy please!
The introspection session just missed the purpose
The three day introspection session (Chintan Shivir) of the Congress party has left the common man of India shocked. There was no indication to show that the Congress party, which is passing through one of its worst phases in history, and which is virtually in tatters in most of the big states of India, is seriously thinking of rectifying its mistakes so that it could put up at least a reasonably decent performance in the coming general elections which are hardly one year away. There were only some vague utterances from the Congress crown prince, Rahul Gandhi, and these were far from satisfactory and concrete. This only indicates that the Congress workers do not realise that they are sitting virtually on a volcano which will erupt as soon as the Indian voters get an access to the electronic voting machines. Instead of seriously debating the ways and means of putting back on track the grand old party of India, of Nehru and Indira Gandhi, the participants merely wasted their time showering praise on their boss's son (Congress president's son), for obvious purpose of keeping the boss happy and thereby keeping their own chairs secure. There is a so called youth brigade in the Congress comprising son's and daughters of Congress leaders of the older generation, and they are not youth leaders by their own right and competence. The prominent among them are Jiten Prasada's son, Madhav Rao Scindia's son, Rajesh Pilot's son, Murli Deora's son and many others. They have formed a coterie around the Congress president's son and they pose as the friends of the crown prince who will become cabinet ministers in future as soon as Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister. They surely have keen interest in putting Rahul Gandhi on the throne and so it is not surprising that their voices of sycophancy were the loudest.
However, the Congress top bosses do not realise that this sycophancy brigade is doing the greatest disservice to the Congress party by keeping them ignorant about the political realities in India. Unless you are aware of your own shortcomings, unless you take immediate steps to rectify the mistakes, how will you prepare yourself for the great political war which may happen in February 2014 or even earlier than that.
The Congress party is nowhere visible in most of the populous states of India where there are powerful regional bosses with whom the battles will have to be fought. In U.P. Rahul Gandhi has to fight both Mulayam and Maya, in West Bengal he has to fight the invincible Left Front and the popular Mamta Didi, in Bihar he has to face the highly popular Nitish Kumar, in Orissa he has to face Naveen Patanaik, in Tamil Nadu he will have to face the powerful and egoistic Jayalalitha , in Andhra Pradesh Jagan Reddy could be a deadly enemy too. In the BJP ruled parts of India also there are deadly enemies like Modi, S.S. Chauhan, Raman Singh, Mohan Pannikar and many others. The only big state where Congress may find some comfort is Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra, if BJP and Shiv Sena cannot perform well--- but even that is very doubtful. Congress may do well in Assam and North East but how many seats can flow from these small states? In Himachal and J&K Congress may do well only if National Conference and PDP both could be persuaded to keep away from the seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh, and if the newly elected government of Himachal fares well in 2013.
In Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh ,NC and PDP could take away the prospective Congress votes of Muslim voters leaving the seats at the mercy of the BJP. Now that Congress has been sufficiently weakened, both NC and PDP could attempt forging an alliance with Congress on their own terms. In Delhi and Rajasthan and Punjab also Congress may not do well because Ashok Gehlot and Sheila Dixit are fighting anti incumbency. In the huge Indian sub continent the Congress may find a little glimmer of hope in Haryana and the North eastern states only.
Under these grave circumstances what should the 'Chintan Shivir ' have recommended for a miraculous recovery in one year's time? Populism should replace good economics immediately.
The Congress should think of good governance and good economics only after it wins the elections. Now the priority should be blind populism only.
(Amit Kushari (IAS Retd.) is former Financial Commissioner, J&K. He can be called at 09748635185)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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