oppn parties Congress: Old Shenanigans Will Not Do

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
Congress: Old Shenanigans Will Not Do

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.
The Congress displayed the familiar shortcoming of having chief ministerial candidates imposed from the high command after winning the recent state elections. While the Madhya Pradesh selection was relatively smooth and done in time, it was the Rajasthan choice that took time and tested the patience of party workers in the state. It is difficult to remember when the party last had a free and fair election of a chief minister by elected legislators. This time the choice was even more difficult as no one was projected during campaigning as the man for the post in both the states and all leaders were working hard to fight the BJP juggernaut.

Although Rahul Gandhi did not have the luxury of old of accommodating factional leaders in the union cabinet, he did have leaders of the younger generation who listened to him. That is why he could appoint Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot as chief ministers in MP and Rajasthan respectively. Both Jyotiraditya Scindia in MP and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan did not rebel or force Gandhi’s hand by accepting his decision. There was some trouble in Rajasthan as supporters of Sachin Pilot were obviously upbeat that their leader would be rewarded with the top post after the grueling effort he had put in to dislodge Vasundhara Raje. It seems Pilot has resigned himself to wait for his time in the larger interests of the party.

But the Congress will have to realize that the voters will not put up with the shenanigans of yore. Rahul Gandhi, as president of the party, has ushered in some changes in the Congress culture. But he has to be on guard against the maneuverings of the old guard. The people have given them the mandate to govern in these difficult times. This is the straw that the party must clasp with both hands if it wants to send the BJP packing in 2019.