By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-04-19 06:00:06
After a long time, the Congress party has moved in the right direction to constitute a consultative panel under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The other members of the panel are Rahul Gandhi, K C Venugopal, P Chidambaram, Manish Tiwari, Jairam Ramesh, Praveen Chakravorty, Gaurav Vallabh, Supriya Shrinate and Rohan Gupta. The party's chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, will be the convenor of the panel.
The party released a statement which said that the panel had been constituted by the interim president Sonia Gandhi. It said that the panel will meet virtually every day in the normal course to "to deliberate on matters of current concern and formulate views of the party on various issues". Along with this, the party should also put a gag on leaders from saying any and everything and should tell them to speak only what has been suggested by the panel.
It is wise on the part of the party to use Dr Singh's enormous knowledge, experience and expertise in most matters to formulate the party's response to the current situation. There is no leader in the party who can match Dr Singh's stature and it was criminal to keep him on the sidelines. There is an urgent need for the party to come out with a considered and cohesive response to the Covid-19 crisis, both of its health impact and the impact on the economy and the migrant workers. There is no better person than Dr Singh to guide the party in this matter.
Ever since the Congress first remained headless for many months and then Sonia Gandhi took over as the interim chief it has been moving ahead as a rudderless party. Various leaders, especially Rahul Gandhi, speak on all matters, sometimes in different voices. This has taken the party away from the people. Now, if it is guided by Dr Singh and if it puts forward considered responses, it will emerge as a responsible opposition party. That will also immediately put the NDA government on the back foot.