Across the world, political parties have gone on to become more democratic and inclusive, even if they have shown populist or authoritarian traits. In India, a man with a humble beginning, a tea vendor is holding the Prime Minister’s job; in the United States, a complete outsider to the establishment is the President. In last 10 years particularly because of more inclusive nature of politics, courtesy Social Media explosion, those who didn’t stand an outside chance in heading political parties have transformed the super-elite nature to more representative one, right or wrong; barring one exception- the Congress party.
The Congress party of today reminds of the Congress party of the 1900s before Gandhiji made it a mass movement. It resembles the debating club that it was once. It is a collection of an elite who has nothing in common with the vast majority of Indians. Those who wear ₹4000 per meter linen cloths to make them look more earthy and booted to take an oath when the current dispensation leave the throne.
High Command culture
The Congress High Command is a 100-year-old institution that was first formed in December 1920. It was then meant to give direction and worked as a superior think tank to fight an invincible enemy. From 1998, the Congress High Command has reduced to just Sonia Gandhi and other members of the High Command is to execute her orders without any deliberation. 22 years passed and now today, the Congress party is confronted with an opposition in Narendra Modi and Amit Shah combined which enjoys a huge mandate and unchallenged for the past six years. Day by day the Congress think tank, official and unofficial, is headed by a set of elite power brokers who has a negative image in the public or sub-zero level of public interaction. Till the early 90s, a common man of India was aware of each and every member of Congress High Command. Now not even Google can’t help to find who are all in the current Congress High Command.
Let’s start with the core team besides Gandhi family.
P. Chidambaram, the head of this debating club. There are no agencies in India that are not investigating him: ED, IT, SFIO, CBI, and State Police. It’s not as if political leaders have not gone to jail before. Even if he plays the victim card of political vendetta, has anybody seen a hint of protest, except in some cocktail circles? That too in such low decibel that makes it inaudible to their own pair of ears! Even a local leader will manage to hold a protest rally or a shutdown to mark solidarity. Please notify us if you have one single instance. The only crowd that was gathered outside Chidambaram’s house during the arrest was that of the CBI officials and media persons. He is that “well” connected with the public and moreover he doesn’t care for the people either. PGurus has published several reports of corruption, money laundering, hotel grabbing, and illegal-properties-abroad-cases of Chidambaram and family.
Chidambaram’s key contributions to the Congress party are: Successfully overlooked the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the demise of the Congress party in two states: Andhra and Telengana, which gave 34 seats in 2004 & 2009.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, the opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha did not even visit Kashmir that he claimed to represent the following abolition of article 370. Communist leader Sitaram Yechury who only has one affiliate party representative as MLA in Kashmir made more visits. How do you expect a person who is not even loyal to the constituency that he claims to represent and made a career on their collective identity to be fighting for a party in doldrums?
Azad’s key contributions to Congress party are: In his role as Leader Of Opposition in Rajya Sabha he has been successful in letting BJP with lesser strength in Rajya Sabha until recently to get away without having to defend their stands on any major political issues. Many a time, under his tall leadership, even the allies or neutral MPs connected to opposition cross voted on many important bills.
In the interest of fairness to Azad, it is important to mention the former leader of the opposition (largest party, in fact) in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, the Dalit leader and a key representative of the High Command couldn’t retain his seat in 2019 election. It was such a stellar stint in Lok Sabha that people rejected him from a seat where he holds the distinctive record of winning 10 consecutive MLA elections and later to Lok Sabha. Last heard is Kharge stopped coming to Delhi at all after the Lok Sabha debacle. Today he is replaced by Adhir Ranjan Choudhary from West Bengal where there have been no more than 5 seats for Congress in decades. He is not very fluent in Hindi and English to effectively expose Government misgivings in the only space left for the opposition.
Key contributions of Mallikarjun Kharge: As party in-charge of Maharashtra, his negotiation skills ensured that BJP nearly formed the government in Maharashtra. Had it not for the intervention of Sharad Pawar, the BJP would have established rule in Maharashtra.
That brings us to KC Venugopal, who is finding it difficult to manage his school time and his job. He was elevated to the most powerful post of the party general secretary in-charge of organisation, but that has also made him a school student. Unfortunately, both are interconnected. It is only when he passes his exams at intermediate level Hindi that he can begin to understand the complexity of the party’s problem in North India where they are getting virtually no seats! He is a novice in his home state Kerala and was embroiled in a sex scandal known as Saritha Solar Scam.
Key contributions to Congress party: As in-charge of Karnataka, a stable government was brought down and many key leaders of the party have crossed over to BJP. As in-charge of Organization, despite one year after the trouncing loss, Congress continues to function without State presidents or with old office functionaries who have overlooked the loss.
Jairam Ramesh wears many hats. If intellectual pursuits are hats, sometimes he only wears hats. At times, he is a Congress leader, at times is he is an independent-minded economist, at times he is an author historian and none of this has anything to do with the Congress stated policy. Can he reconcile these multiple pursuits in favour of reviving congress? Well, to seek something more reasonable, can he win his own election? And he is a total novice in his home state Karnataka. His most recent contribution is our next candidate.
Ramesh’s key Contributions to Congress party: After having successfully alienating Corporate’s from the Congress party he has authored 6 books on various topics, which are not found as worthy to buy.
Ramesh brought, Praveen Chakraborty, the newest entrant to the congress high thinking. He crunches numbers apparently. Last time he crunched it, the Congress moved 8 seats up yet short of being recognised as the main opposition party. Not to mention his boss Rahul Gandhi lost his home turf. By the way, do we know the chief number cruncher in BJP? He is still at large despite doing it bloody well. Still, Congressmen don’t know who this Praveen Chakraborty is. Sorry, even Google can’t help you with this.
Key contributions of Praveen to Congress party: He devised an App for Congress party and kept misleading the leadership about feedback on issues that matters to the public and made the leadership take up the misleading cause for elections. Last heard is he minted good fortune in this fake App building for the party.
Salman Khurshid, the tallest Muslim leader in Congress party. The single largest success of the BJP is to project the Congress party as the modern-day Muslim league and credit goes to Khurshid’s goof-ups for the past 15 years. At the time, police run havoc in Jamia University, which incidentally was set up by his grandfather, Khurshid, who lives a few meters away did not even bother to come out. He neither responded to frantic calls from students and teachers of Jamia. It was courtesy him in 2012 that the Hindu’s in Hindi heartland was convinced that congress is detrimental to their interest. The back story is that he introduced sub-quota for Muslims within OBC quota so that it can help his wife Louise finish as number 4th from Farukabad in 2012 UP State elections and wiped out all gains in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. His contribution to an independent judiciary is worth a mention here. It was he as Law Minister who went out of the way to appoint Deepak Mishra, the first Chief Justice of India to have come close to face Impeachment. In fact, the best defence of the government when they are accused of the manipulating judiciary is that they were all handpicked by Khurshid as Law Minister.
Key contributions of Khurshid: Creating goof-ups is his hobby. Openly criticising the Congress party while it was trying to press for impeachment of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra. Last heard is pliable to media, if get a chance to speak and create an embarrassment to the party.
Ambika Soni, the sole women representative in the top Congress leadership, of course, other than Mrs Gandhi. There is so little to write about her that it’s best left unsaid.
Key contributions to Congress party: Maintaining effective silence about Jammu and Kashmir of which she is the in-charge. BJP might be thankful to her.
Kanishka Singh, the manager kind person never grew up beyond his childhood as the son of a diplomat close to Gandhi family. He was Rahul Gandhi’s aide and successfully kept him aloof from the party. While he held the office of Rahul Gandhi, even if Mahatma Gandhi wanted to visit Rahul Gandhi, it cannot be said with certainty that Kanishka will approve it. After having virtually destroyed Rahul Gandhi, he moved with the efficacy of a Squishy, oozie ball to Priyanka’s court. Never fought an election, have no personal stake to lose if the party lose but everything to gain if the party wins. His brother built an empire and he is as much vested in it to protect it. Just like the princely states in British time. At best it’s the policy of safe distancing.
Singh’s approach is exactly how the princely states behaved towards the end of the Indian independence movement. They waited in anticipation of a crumbling empire, did nothing, yet took it for granted when the British left, they will be anointed to the power. Rest is history. Unlike the Rajas of Princely states, they won’t even get a protocol or perks.
Last heard is Kanishka is also a lead figure of the anti- Rahul Gandhi Lobby within the Congress that is critical of Rahul’s continuation. Some say Robert Vadra has overpowered him due to the old deals.
Last but not the least, completely alienated Congress grassroots workers and let computers select a candidate and not by local leaders.
Key contributions to Congress party: Kanishka was a key person in selecting bureaucrats and judges during UPA and he handles all the cases that are important to Gandhi family and the Congress and now lost every case.
The two Demi-Gods who enjoyed Unbridled powers were TKA Nair and Pulok Chatterjee. The duo enjoyed appointing people everywhere, took all policy decisions which led to the demise of Congress and like true bureaucrats vanished from the scene the day Congress lost power. They are nowhere to be seen. Pulok is not bothered about Gandhi family and cases against them, to whom he owed his existence and TKA Nair never came to rescue Manmohan Singh when he got fixed in coal scam!
These servants (Government) were very keen to figure always in the list of most powerful and who’s who of India. It is an old saying when servants become more powerful then the master demise of empire is inevitable.
Congress is now slowly going to its end and Rahul Gandhi seems to be the Bahadur Shah Zafar of Congress, aided and advised by these coteries of people. All intelligent and self-respecting leaders and people deserted Congress because for Sonia Family only loyalty mattered so Congress was left with mediocre people and below-average intellect level coterie. Simply put – With these kinds of coteries, Sonia’s hope for SON Rise is leading Congress to Sunset.
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