oppn parties Congress: Old Shenanigans Will Not Do

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • 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.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.