The Indian National Congress have not yet recovered completely from the shock of its worst ever humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections let alone its revival from the current predicament. Now further developments inside the party have come as another blow. Serious infighting has erupted among party cadre in few of the states that are expected to go to the polls soon.
Minister for Industry Narayan Rane had accused Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of “slow decision-making and lack of control over administration” that led to the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, followed by his resignation on Monday which further aggravated the situation. Rane, who quit Shiv Sena and joined the Congress in 2005, is a highly influential leader in State politics. In the upcoming Assembly elections where the BJP-Shiv Sena victory is certain, Rane has his eyes on the Chief Ministerial post which was promised to him within six months of his joining the Congress - a promise that was never kept. But the strong opposition from the BJP faction may crush his dreams. It’s believed that Rane’s decision to quit the party is due to his conviction that Congress has no future in the capital.
The change in the game plans of Sharad Pawar’s NCP and its already strained relations with the Congress would create a tough challenge for the INC in its path to victory. The resignation of the senior Congress Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who was under the Tarun Gogoi parliament in Assam and 31 Congress MLAs exiting the party have further deepened the crisis. The 77 member Congress is clearly on the path of loosing majority in 126-member Assembly. Despite Sarma having solid public support, the Congress High Command, to be more precise, Rahul Gandhi, stood with Gogoi. In Haryana, senior leader Birender Singh has already moved against Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Chief Minister who is in legal tangles due to the alleged land dealings with Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi. Worsening the overall situation, in West Bengal, another three MLAs recently joined Mamatha Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress completing the demolition. In addition, while the escalating dissonance and groupism in the Congress are creating a headache for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Kerala, in Jammu and Kashmir, the party’s all time ally National Conference have officially conveyed their decision to split the alliance.
The Congress have, most of the time in its history, been able to sort out any issue that came its way, whether it be discords or splits due to its level-headed leadership and brilliant leaders. But this time, it’s the same people from the Gandhi family, responsible for the shameful defeat, who are leading the Congress. Rahul Gandhi, who is literally leading the party, lacks the organizing skill and the commanding power over his allies required to pull off an impressive government.
Congress has always reiterated its stand as a secularist, democratic and socialist party. But at present, there are no inspiring and brilliant leaders at the top to control and direct the party as it used to be from the time of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. So for the Congress, the next major thing to do is to hire leaders capable of restoring the party’s secular democratic image and rectify the previous errors keeping in mind that they are the last strand of hope for a million people across the country including the minority and the backward communities.