Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lessons Congress, Rahul Gandhi continue to decline to learn


#May16,2014 --- Narendra Modi conquered India....some thought it was a 'black day'..... I unfriended one old friend on FB that very day....as the remark showed disrespect to people's mandate !!

There are lessons for many political parties from the condition the country’s oldest party has found itself in. Anti-incumbency or aggressive Modi-fied campaigns were not the only factors for the decline. The decline of the Congress party has been seductively gradual. The foremost of all was the steadfast refusal to take corrective measures. The so called discipline, reduced to sycophancy,  that could have been one of the greatest strengths turned out to be a curse. The protectionism of the dynasty undermined talent and thus the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora and Sachin Pilot were never allowed to bask – the fear being - the young Turks could not be allowed to overshadow Rahul Gandhi.
However, by June 1, 2014, a fortnight since the verdict came, the Congress leaders in isolation and in separate pockets started making noises especially against Rahul Gandhi – in Kerala, Rajasthan and remote Mizoram. 
Rahul surrounded by 'dynastic sons' - Hooda, Scindia, Gogoi 
For Sonia, the worst and shocking news perhaps came from Mizoram when chief minister Lal Thanhawla, a Congressman of many years and a Christian himself took on the Congress. He had lambasted the party leadership of the manner it has been handling the defeat. His eloquent oneliners are more than the normal reactions from a disgruntled Congressman. Lal Thanhawla said the party “paid for its misdeeds” and it “does not know how to face defeat”. He added he has written to Sonia to refrain from blame-game in the party and rather introspect instead. “That way, the defeat we faced is good for us,” he said.
Two days later, another Congressman and senior parliamentarian Kishore Chandra Deo commented, “Indira Gandhi had once said, -only Congress can defeat Congress. That is exactly what happened”.
In an interview with Economic Times, Deo, who presided over Lok Sabha panel in 2008-09 on cash-for-vote scam, also analysed candidly that the feedback and surveys Rahul Gandhi was trying to get was hardly unbiased.
“He (Gandhi) was getting surveys through his people. A good effort again, but when his surveyors go to the PCCs, they send them to DCCs. The DCC chiefs were appointed by PCC chiefs, who in turn were appointed by AICC managers from Delhi. Ultimately his surveyors got feedback only from those who were part of the party establishment. So Rahul could never get unbiased feed-back. ……It is a vicious circle”.
Kishore Chandra Deo was also critical of the roles played by the likes of Jairam Ramesh, who headed a group of ministers in UPA that oversaw bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. “Some green-horns and imported leaders may have been patronised by some within the party and were taking crucial organisational, political and campaign decisions. Jairam is a Rajya Sabha member from AP. I don't know who sent him there for campaigning, or whether he went on his own".
Blogger in the corridors of Parliament

Now where does this lead to?

In my opinion, the Congress leaders’ and Congress supporters’ disgruntlement has been more against the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi himself, whose ‘ability’ to deliver for the grand old party is now no longer a state secret.
An honest analysis of 2014 Mandate would make it amply clear that no single factor has contributed more to the downfall of Congress party in these elections than Rahul Gandhi and his flirting with failures.

As an ardent student of Indian elections, I find some similarity emerging between Rahul and his ‘illustrious’ uncle, the Late Sanjay Gandhi, though as personalities both are from diametrically different stocks.
So has Sonia Gandhi emulated her mother-in-law Indira in displaying her unquestionable love for a son, who is today seen as a political liability?
The hapless Kerala Congressman TH Mustafa’s unceremonious suspension is a case in point. His being a Muslim did not save the day!
Will photo opp. help?

The ignominious defeat of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had other stories to tell. What does the mandate mean for Congress and the first political dynasty of the country?
Normally, any party which has been decimated at the scale of Congress would go ahead for upheaval. The clamour should have grown on what would happen to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. But in Congress, the moment the results started pouring in, a firewall was being created on how to protect the ‘family’.

On social networking site the joke that went out viral rapidly was: “Son Rahul please come back home, Mummy will not blame you for whatever that went on, we will blame uncle Manmohan”.


That’s precisely how people thought Congress is and exactly the manner Congress behaved after the results too. Refusing to learn lessons and perhaps more importantly shying away from responsibility, Rahul Gandhi pushed the party to name low-profile Mallikarjun Kharge as the Leader of the Congress group in Lok Sabha.

“This mandate is more against the dynasty than the Congress party. Not only the treacherous acts of the family were exposed in the form of corruption of Robert Vadra, Narendra Modi had given a specific call against Ma-Beta ke sarkar,” said BJP hardliner Balbir Punj. Expectedly the Congress leaders declined to buy the line.

Instead from Kamal Nath to Digvijay Singh to Jyotariditya Scinda to Abhishekmanu Singhvi everyone said that Sonia and Rahul need not resign and instead “use the opportunity” to revive the party. “The failure to communicate about the government’s good works was the chief factor,’ said senior leader Kamal Nath trying to blame Manmohan Singh regime for all the discomfort generated by the mandate 2014.

(ends)

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