oppn parties Congress: Mismanaging the Family Firm

News Snippets

  • 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
Congress: Mismanaging the Family Firm

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.
Sonia Gandhi was correct when she told the Congress party to stick to principles as no failure is permanent. If any failure is taken as permanent, then obviously people will stop trying. But she forgot to tell them that as a corollary to the fact, people have to analyze reasons for their failure and ensure that corrective measures are taken and mistakes are not repeated. Despite her sermons, Sonia Gandhi as Congress president has repeatedly analyzed failures in a pre-conceived way, failed to learn from mistakes and then gone ahead to commit blunders by repeating those mistakes again and again.

At the very outset, any analysis of electoral reverses that the party makes ignores shortcomings in the Central leadership. Loyalists fall over each other to shield Sonia and Rahul. At the same time, there are cries of either elevating Rahul as president or bringing in Priyanka in UP to invigorate the grassroots workers. Isn’t the first a condemnation of Sonia’s leadership and the second a condemnation of both Rahul and Sonia? But whatever the scenario, the Congress party still tries to latch on to the quickly fading Gandhi brand, which in itself is a big mistake. Honest analysis is not possible in the Congress and no one can expect the party president to take full responsibility and resign.

As an all India party with awesome organization and infrastructure, the Congress party reaches every nook and corner of the country. It will be foolish to write it off for its present failures. But the fact remains that the party needs to reinvent itself, or as Digvijay Singh so aptly put, conduct a major surgery, to continue remaining relevant. It has followed flawed dynastic policies for too long and a rethink is necessary. But who will bell the cat?

The problem with dynastic policies is that regional satraps also try to ape the Central leadership. Take what is happening in Assam for instance. Tarun Gogoi led the party to its worst electoral defeat in the state. But, despite his advancing years, he will continue to be the guiding light of the party in the state. He will be duly elected the leader of the opposition. The Congress will not groom a younger leader for 2021. If it does, without doubt that ‘leader’ will be Gaurav Gogoi. Policies like these are taking the party downhill.

Appointing Prashant Kishore as strategist and hoping he will pull a rabbit out of the hat is hoping too much if that rabbit is Rahul Gandhi. The Congress is most likely to be wiped out in UP next year. It might do well in Punjab where the Akali Dal is embroiled in dynastic politics of its own and is going to be punished for that. But even in Punjab, the AAP is likely to provide stiff competition. The Congress needs to bring to fore strong grassroots leaders in the states. It needs to shed the family firm style of management. But it will not be done as both are things that go against the party ethos. There is no hope for the party in the near future as long as loyalists fall at the feet of members of one family.