Congress’ Gujarat crisis: Signalling disaffection with top leadership

Rahul Gandhi had made the wrong choices in the State’ leadership

Congress’ Gujarat crisis: Signalling disaffection with top leadership
Congress’ Gujarat crisis: Signalling disaffection with top leadership

The high command had failed to control infighting in the party’s Gujarat unit; the Congress was run by a dynasty; the party was not concerned with issues of the people but occupied with self-interest

The Congress may not yet have imploded in Gujarat, but it is certainly facing serious trouble. Three of its MLAs quit the party over the past few days and joined the BJP. The optics are bad enough, but coming as it does weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the development adds to the Congress’s embarrassment. Also, it is possible that some more migrations may happen in the days ahead leading to the poll.

In Goa, after the last Assembly poll, although it emerged as the single largest party, it sat on its haunches and allowed the BJP to stitch alliances and form the Government.

The Congress had been exulting after its performance in the last Assembly election when it did better than in the previous three occasions. The BJP had just about managed to breach the simple majority mark. Calling it a ‘moral victory’, senior Congress leaders had begun to talk of a comeback for the party which had been in the wilderness for nearly two decades in the State. But recent events have put paid to those dreams for now and has virtually no chance of doing well in the 26 Lok Sabha seats from there. Its best-case scenario is probably a couple of seats. The worst case situation is something the party is familiar with: In the 2014 poll, it had drawn a blank.

It’s amazing that a party which seemed to be in revival mode just 15 months ago, is back in the dumps. But the Congress has an ability to knock off advantages that accrue to it. It takes even the rare victory for granted and fails to read the ground signals which warn of crises. In Gujarat, the State unit is faction-ridden, with each group seeking to outdo the other in ingratiating itself with the party’ high command, primarily Congress president Rahul Gandhi. And the party chief, located at a considerable distance from the epicentre of trouble and content in the belief that trouble-makers can be adequately dealt with either through coercion or disdain, has no clue on how to contain dissidence.

But Gujarat is no exception to such setbacks. The Congress has experienced similar issues in other States — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh etc — and suffered as a consequence. The failure is all-round, right from the high command down to the State leadership and the central party in-charges. The Congress has been remarkably adept in turning victory into defeat. In Goa, after the last Assembly poll, although it emerged as the single largest party, it sat on its haunches and allowed the BJP to stitch alliances and form the Government. And even as this is being written, the party has virtually abandoned its relatively stronger pitch against the Modi government of jobless growth and agrarian distress and decided to self-destruct by criticising the incumbent regime in New Delhi on anti-terror strikes inside Pakistani territory.

One can draw a parallel with the current developments in Karnataka, where the Congress’s local leadership is battling troubles almost on a weekly basis. Here too, like in the case of Gujarat, the party has failed to capitalise on gains

The reasons the MLAs have given for quitting the Congress and crossing over to the BJP’s side are familiar enough. The high command had failed to control infighting in the party’s Gujarat unit; the Congress was run by a dynasty; the party was not concerned with issues of the people but occupied with self-interest; the BJP is development-oriented. These may seem to be after-thought explanations for the leaders to switch camps, but they not without justification.

The issue of dissent, for instance, is old and has remained unresolved. Less than a year ago, Congress workers in Ahmedabad stormed the venue of a Press conference being addressed by the then State president and ransacked the office. Local leaders, including some senior MLAs, had been unhappy with the high command’s choice of the State office-bearers, including the president. The then Congress strongman of Saurashtra, Indranil Rajyaguru, who had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket against Vijay Rupani who went on to become the Chief Minister, had said: “I’m unhappy with the State leadership (of the Congress).” He was not the only one to lash out at the party. Kunwarjit Bawalia and Javeed Pirzada had also expressed deep disappointment. Towards the end of 2018, a bunch of senior Gujarat Congress leaders and MLAs had met at the residence of prominent leader Arjun Modhwadia and registered their strong disapproval over the functioning of the State leadership.

Two things stand out clear: One, that Rahul Gandhi had made the wrong choices in the State’ leadership. And two, he had failed to address dissidence when it broke out in the open. One can draw a parallel with the current developments in Karnataka, where the Congress’s local leadership is battling troubles almost on a weekly basis. Here too, like in the case of Gujarat, the party has failed to capitalise on gains.


Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Rajesh Singh

Rajesh Singh is a Delhi-based senior political commentator and public affairs analyst
Rajesh Singh

5 COMMENTS

  1. How much have this journo been paid for Lies about jobless growth and agrarian crisis, by CIA-ISI-OpusDei-vatican? Nos of Farmers committing suicide has dropped by almost half, compared to Italian Mafia rule..Jobless Growth was under Italian-Porki rule of SOW- MAINO mohon, who was more interested in giving USD 12 billion to Italy and buying Italian EU Pigshit for benifit of Italy…UNDER ITALIAN-VATICAN RULE Nos of JOBS CREATED IN 10 YEARS was just 1.1 million (while 5 million equal to 20 million Indian jobs at most conservative were created in WHITE EU/Italy with Buy Gora-PORKI-ITALIAN-Bdeshi kill Indian Industry policy), while MODI Govt created 6 crore jobs..OH entrepreneur, Blue collar, Non Maniuficturing, Agriculture, business…..shd NOT BE COUNTED, while under Italian Mafia rule even 1 job was advertised by Xtian Paki Bdeshi Orwellian barking dogs the journos as if first job ever created in Universe

  2. rajesh singh ji singing peans to Italian dynasty (something to do with melanin complex and love for white skins), or is it the love of pelf.(After all Italian Inquisition Xavierite Conquistador genocidal rule, to finish Hindus and also Muslims (by making them cannon fodder with Hindus, under Grand Vatican plan of Xtian White Supremacis domination and national plunder of Rs 3 million Crores, some cookies were thrown at media Pidis), Reslavery, but author seems to be watering with thoughts of cookies being rethrown.
    Italian Nazi Inquisition Christian slavery party is only concerned of Italy and Italian. Indians are fools (and many born in Brit/Portuguese/Italian/ Russian sewers to debauched sl.ts) to vote Italians. ALL COUNTRIES WHICH BECAME FREE BUTCHERED The sewer filth of colonizer, but we welcomed Porkipanjabis and Bongs. India became colonized again. ALL FORMS OF TERROR STARTING WITH XTIAN, NAXAL, ISLAMIC, COMMIE, KHALISTANI, PORKISTANI…IS SIMPLY PRD OF EVIL VILE CHURCH AND STARTED ONLY AFTER THIS ITALIAN EVIL WHITE MONSTER XTIAN FROM ITALIAN GUTTERS INFILTRATED INDIAN SHORES

  3. Hope Amit Shah does not give seats to these people who jumped from Congress. BJP loyalists and non-corrupt to be given seats

  4. The Congress Party’s Senior Leaders are like crabs. They will not allow the eminent among them to climb up the stairs of hierarchy. The rest join together to pull down the leg of eminent congress leader. So, dynasty is just watching and enjoying the power and pelf without any hindrance. If all the leaders bury their hatchet against each other and decide to work together throwing away the ANTI NATIONAL, USELESS, LOOTER, FIT FOR NOTHING GANDAAAAA DYNASTY FAMILY, then there is a possibility, they can occupy the space of principal opposition party in the Lok Sabha 2019. Otherwise, it will be the case of GADHEDAAA [ Donkey ] turned out to be an Ant – from 44 LS MPs in 2014 to 4 LS MPs in 2019. Rescuing the Party from the corrupt hands of notorious Gandaaaa dynasty family is the National priority.

  5. The Ray of Hope, the very Survival and Sustenance of the Congress as a Viable National Party remains slender wobbling with failing legs. the Top executive Cadre in the CWC should be : Captain Amarinder Singh, S. Pilot and Scindia. Other are weak, corrupt stooges who lack guts, courage and confidence to take on other parties. Congress can gain foothold if they go all out to get rid off the dynasts, the pseudo-Gandhis along with their brand of chamchas.

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