oppn parties Blame Game Is Not Going To Help The Congress

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Blame Game Is Not Going To Help 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 was strange of Priyanka Gandhi to blame non-working Congress workers for her party's abysmal showing in Uttar Pradesh. Her claim that Rae Bareilly was won by Sonia Gandhi with the help of the people of the town is a slap in the face of those Congress workers who worked tirelessly despite having no incentive (the Congress was a lost case in the state from the day it was not made a part of the SP-BSP-RLD mahagathbandhan) and no leaders to inspire them. The way she is going, she will alienate the few remaining workers of the party and reduce it to a footnote in state politics.

The Congress has a long history of sycophants masquerading as political leaders fawning before the Gandhis and insulating them from any blame in case of defeat, failing which the Gandhis themselves attribute the blame on a host of factors. This time, the defeat is so severe against a government that was facing anti-incumbency that both these elements have come into play. First, Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress president and immediately sparked a rush among spineless Congress leaders to ask him to take it back. Then Rahul said that senior Congress leaders did not help him in his efforts to dislodge Modi. Now, Priyanka is blaming the workers.

The blame game is not going to help the party reinvent itself. Although the odds were against it as after 2014 as the party neither attracted corporate funds nor had a plan to counter the rising influence of the BJP, it could have done well had taken feedback from the grassroots. But the Gandhis live in their ivory tower and have completely lost touch with ground realities. They allow the sycophants to be their eyes and ears and hence they get distorted and biased reports. The party leadership failed to realize that workers were disillusioned.  Mass leaders like Alpesh Thakur who joined the party left it soon.

Then, Rahul Gandhi allowed Narendra Modi to set the agenda and the pace of electioneering. He also chose several wrong lines of attack on Modi and his government. Corruption in the Rafale deal was never accepted by the people as Modi’s image as an incorruptible leader rode above all else. Rahul failed to realize this and kept on making fun of Modi with the slogan chowkidar chor hai. Again, asking for proof of the surgical strikes was another huge blunder as the people believed Modi when he called the entire opposition anti-national for that.

His charge that senior leaders did not support him also falls flat as Rahul positioned himself as the face of the party and headed a grueling campaign by addressing more than 125 rallies all over the country. It is not known which other leaders were assigned campaigning work on this scale and, knowing the Gandhis and their propensity for self-promotion, it is doubtful whether any other leader was chosen to campaign so hard. For instance, when going after Modi’s economic policies, wouldn’t it have been better to assign the job to Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram? Their words would have carried greater weight than a self-indulgent Rahul making tall claims about the economy. But did we see Chidambaram address any rallies in, say, Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal? Was Singh asked to campaign in Bihar or Maharashtra? Even when these leaders were employed in the campaign, the spotlight was totally on Rahul and they were just fillers or persons who speak to keep the crowd occupied before the main speakers turn. Hence, Rahul must take the entire blame for the debacle on his shoulders.

The Congress is not serious about its future and with no Gandhi in the saddle as of now; no other frontline leader is willing to give any other leader the leeway to guide the party. This attitude is clearly reflected in the manner in which most frontline leaders did not attend a meeting called by Jyotiraditya Scindia to take stock of the post-poll situation and analyze the reasons for the crushing defeat in the state of UP. Scindia was in-charge of west-UP while Priyanka Vadra was in-charge of east-UP. But Priyanka felt it was beyond her station to attend the meeting. This sense of entitlement is something that both keeps the Gandhis at the helm of affairs in the Congress (as long as it is populated by fawning sycophants) and brings about their defeat in elections in an India where people are increasingly rejecting political dynasties.