By Arun Srivastava
Leaders of the Congress are the worst enemies of their own party. They never treated the Congress as a political party. It has been a conglomerate of diverse ideas. For them it has been merely a contraption to rule and they have been born to rule India. And to rule it is imperative that Congress must get majority as laid out by the constitution. While some nurse Gandhism as the ideological contour of the Congress, for others it is committed to secular, centrist, socialism and liberal ethos. There is general feeling in the Congress leaders that Congress is in fact a centrist idea close to the heart of most of the Indians.
Obviously this has been the primary reason that the Congress could not pursue a certain political idea. It even got reflected in divergence adopted by the leaders on any one particular and single issue. This divergence of ideas failed to project the Congress as a political party following a particular ideology. This has been often traced on a certain issue facing the party.
There is one fundamental maxim in the politics; the opposition must oppose the ruling irrespective of the fact whether policies of the ruling apparatus benefit the people. Dr Manmohan Singh is supposed to the most politician. During his decade old rule, nobody could produce a document or evidence to accuse him of being corrupt. But L K Advani, the then leader of the BJP in Lok Sabha never spared a single opportunity to malign his image. He accused him of patron of the corrupts, even described him as Mauni Baba, a person not pulling up his corrupt ministers.
He did not eulogise the positive aspect or gains of his governance. Advani performed the task of opposition leader. His economic policies were so virtuous for the country that even current Prime Minister Narendra Modi prefers to use them, though he has been perpetually decrying deriding him. Significantly he never claimed in public that he was practicising Dr Singh’s policies.
But some of the Congress leaders like former union minister Jairam Ramesh openly plead that the party should see the positive aspects of Modi’s governance instead of demonising him. He is not alone to espouse this view. Ironically even persons like All India Professionals’ Congress chief Shashi Tharoor and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi have powered the discourse by openly supporting Jairam’s stand.
Singhvi tweeted: “Always demonising Modi is wrong. Not only is he the Prime Minister of the nation, a one-way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad & indifferent — they must be judged issue wise and not person wise. Certainly, Ujjwala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds.”
Their stands send the message across that the Congress lacks the wisdom, vision and is bereft of alternate idea which is why instead of putting its ideas has been endorsing the narratives of Mod. They fail to appreciate the fact that anti-Modi narrative must be built to catch the imagination of the people. We have seen how during the election 2019 the Congress leaders failed to counter the tactics of Modi. Congress was caught pants down.
During LS elections, the Congress could not come to a common agreement as to how to combat Modi strategies. The Congress was plagued with serious differences over strategies, including the nature of the attack on Modi. Rahul’s blunt chowkidar-chor-hai rhetoric was abhorred by many leaders while there were reservations about the over-reliance on NYAY, the minimum income guarantee scheme.
Rahul had himself made it known to the world that he sometimes found himself alone in the battle. People of the country, not only the supporters of Congress had been to the apathy of these leaders towards the policies and programmes. No doubt the one man army of Congress fought against the mighty empire of Modi. Even in this backdrop he improved the performance of the party through his solo efforts. Had these leaders rallied behind Rahul firmly, the situation certainly would have been different. None can forget the nightmare of Goa where Congress even after being the single largest party missed a good chance to form the government. Leaders betrayed the Congress.
What is worse for Congress is this has been gradually becoming a trend in the Congress. This trend has been primarily responsible for exodus of leaders from the Congress. They see their future safe in the BJP under the leadership of Modi. Since they utterly lack ideological commitment, in that backdrop Modi is the best alternates. It is shocking to listen to such leaders speaking to political immaturity of those leaders criticising Modi.
Only a couple of days back, Sonia Gandhi had offered a substantive critique of Modi’s politics and governance. The economic crisis prevailing in India has been a globally discussed issue, but these leaders do not find the situation alarming. Some Congress leaders quit the party after supporting Modi move to abrogate 370.
Had there been unity of purpose the three top leaders might not have intervened in this manner. How much there stand has demoralised the leaders who are in favour of building an anti Modi discourse could be comprehended from the remarks of Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari: “These great persons can themselves explain their comments. They are in the best position to clarify or amplify or retract or subtract their remarks. Insofar as the Congress is concerned, we believe that there is a serious economic crisis in the country. The economic crisis is impacting the employment situation and we are extremely concerned and worried about it.” With these leaders guiding the destiny of Congress, it is sure Modi will turn India “Congress Mukta Bharat”. (IPA Service)