oppn parties Another Climbdown By The Congress

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Another Climbdown By The Congress

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It seems that Congress has become habituated to climbdowns and capitulations. Even as people were trying to forget its total capitulation in Karnataka to a party that won less than half the seats than the Congress comes the latest climbdown from the “Rahul as PM” line flaunted after the CWC meeting to a more amenable “we are open” line after protests by several opposition parties.

Buoyed perhaps by better than expected showing in Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka and ground reports of huge anti-incumbency against the ruling BJP in poll-bound states Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as also the new-found confidence and spring-in-the-steps of its president, the CWC rushed into making a declaration it has been forced to clarify and amend.

That Rahul Gandhi is not the automatic choice to lead the so-called federal or united opposition front is clear from the fact that several opposition leaders, mainly West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, see themselves as serious contenders. The Congress should have gauged the mood of other leaders before rushing to project Rahul as PM.

The Congress must realize that it all depends on numbers. The last time around both the AIADMK and the TMC were within striking distance of the number of seats won by the Congress. If the TMC improves upon its tally in 2019, which is most likely given the state of the BJP in Bengal, and if the Congress does not improve upon its own, then it will be under severe pressure to yield the top spot to Mamata. Hence, instead of focusing on making Rahul the PM, the party must focus on winning at least 100 seats in 2019. Only then will Rahul be a serious contender in case the opposition combine trumps the NDA.