oppn parties Another Climbdown By The Congress

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.