New Delhi (Aryavarth) : Congress is not equal to Gandhi, and Gandhi’s cannot take credit for what Congress is. Even though one family has donned the leadership of the party, equating the Congress party to one family is a fallacy and hallucination.
Everything has a shelf life, and the same is true with the Gandhi Family, they have done a lot for the country. However, the party failed to reinvent itself to drive modern India. Post Manmohan Singh, they have not been able to find a leader who will exuberate confidence in the markets and get them votes. Many people don’t love PM Modi or his ideology; however, they don’t want to see another Gandhi Scion in the seat. Sadly, Congress oldies don’t want to face this reality. They are making a mockery of the party and damaging India’s democratic traditions.
For the sake of India, the Gandhi family should step back and move to other domains like social work and leave the politics to a new breed of leaders. A strong opposition is a must for any country, more so for democracy, that is on the verge of being taken over by Right-wing fundamentalist. There cannot be one party – BJP, and any aspirations of RSS or even the BJP to do so are ill-founded. BJP has to be challenged and questioned, however not in Rahul Gandhi style. Congress has no shortage of leaders; the family has to step away for India to evolve.
The time has come for Congress to review itself and move out of the lap of Gandhi’s. Grow up Congress!
Why Did Rahul Step Back From Bihar Campaign?
Rahul Gandhi is much younger than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But Modi addressed more rallies than Gandhi. The Congress took as many as 70 seats in seat-sharing but did not do 70 rallies. The party’s effort in the polls matching the number of seats it contested was lacking in Bihar this time.
Gandhi was picnicking at his sister’s place in Shimla when elections were on. Is this the way a party is run? The Congress’s non-serious approach in running the party only gives room for making allegations that the national party is merely helping the BJP,” said, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) national vice president Shivanand Tiwary.
Rahul Gandhi addressed only eight rallies throughout the three-week-long poll campaign for the three-phase election, which ended on November 7. Tiwary, an outspoken leader, also slammed the Congress as “a non-serious player”.
The Congress won only 19 seats out of 70 seats it contested. It has led to heartburn in the RJD-led Grand Alliance (GA) that the coalition lost out to the ruling NDA by a slender margin to reach the majority figure of 122 MLAs because of the grand old party’s low strike rate in winning seats.
The senior leader maintained the Congress top leadership was not adapting to changes or listening to even senior leaders for organisational overhaul. He was highlighting how 23 senior party leaders had written to the party president Sonia Gandhi for bringing in sweeping changes. “But what happened? Nothing. There was no change in Congress’ way of functioning,” he said.
Tiwary, who is former Rajya Sabha MP and former minister, also was unsparing about his attack against Priyanka Gandhi saying her focus in Uttar Pradesh as AICC general secretary has not cut much ice. “In the bye-election in four seats in UP recently, Congress candidates lost their deposits in four seats out of seven seats where polls were held. So how has Priyanka been able to shore up the party’s sagging poll fortunes in UP?” he asked.
Despite his scathing criticism, Tiwary asserted his utterances against the Congress should not be perceived as that of an RJD national vice president’s alone but also as that of a senior politician of the state.
“We want Congress to get stronger. Today, democracy is in danger, especially the way civil liberties are being curbed, and democratic voices are being suppressed in the country under the BJP rule. But I feel the Congress is not making any concerted effort in this direction. As a party, Congress must learn from the BJP of being accommodative towards allies like re-electing chief minister Nitish Kumar to the top post despite JD(U) winning only 43 seats and bringing onboard smaller allies like VIP and HAM,” he said.
He also said that even Bihar Congress leaders are now acknowledging there were significant mistakes in candidate selection. “Congress leaders today staged a dharna. A section of party leaders are now admitting it was the wrong selection and faulty campaign that led to the party’s poor show,” Tiwary said.
The RJD had been muted so far in blaming the Congress for the GA’s failure to reach the halfway mark with the leader of the opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav saying all allies have worked collectively. But the CPI-ML (liberation), a major Left party in the state which won 12 seats as GA partner this time, has already put the Congress in the dock for the alliance’s debacle.
“Congress had a low strike rate, and it appears the party did not choose its candidates and carried the poll campaign as desired. The Congress must review its shortcomings,” said CPI-ML general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya recently.
Priyanka is a Twitter leader & Failed To Win Seats In Bypolls.
Lucknow, November 16 (IANS) The Congress in Uttar Pradesh is in shambles and knives are out for party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has ‘failed to keep the party together’ in the state. With leaders quitting the Congress almost every day, the voices of dissent are also growing louder by the day. The party’s debacle in the recent assembly by-elections has worked as a catalyst. The Congress contested six seats, and its candidates lost deposit on four seats.
What added insult to the injury was UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu’s remark that the by-elections reflected the party’s growing influence. “We ranked second on two seats. People now appreciate our efforts to promote our ideology,” he said.
He further said, “The Congress has constantly been fighting against the BJP government. We will surely learn the right lessons from these by-election results and will plan and work hard.”
A senior leader quipped, “Priyanka Gandhi has taken the ‘work from home’ concept very seriously. She has visited UP twice this year — once in February to meet activists injured in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Azamgarh, and then in October to meet the family of the Dalit woman allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Hathras. She has not been to the party’s state headquarters even once, and neither is she accessible to the common party worker.”
Priyanka Stepped Back from UP Campaign, Why?
The Congress leader said that while other political leaders in BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were extensively touring the state, ahead of the 2022 assembly elections, the Congress was hitting at its roots and pushing leaders out of the party.
Senior party leaders like Annu Tandon, who recently quit the party and joined the Samajwadi Party, said that the ‘atmosphere in the party had become stifling’. She said that the attitude of the state leadership was ‘unacceptable’ and the leaders in charge were unwilling to address the situation.
Ankit Parihar, general secretary of the state unit who has also quit the party and joined SP, said, “It was very difficult to work in the prevailing atmosphere in the UP Congress. I was appointed as its general secretary, but I decided to quit the party because the entire organisation is in the grip of Leftists. The common worker has no say there, and the workers’ voice does not reach Priyanka Gandhi’s ears. No one pays any attention there.”
He said that the departure from the Congress was getting bigger. Party workers in almost every district are finding their way out.
“What is worse is the fact that there is no effort by the UPCC president to redeem the situation,” he said.
The biggest grouse in the UP Congress is against Priyanka’s private secretary, Sandeep Singh, whose unduly domineering behaviour has ruffled many feathers.
“We have been Congressmen since the past several decades, and we are not going to be ruled by ultra-
Left leaders who are creating a new work culture in the party. We were expelled last year without a proper procedure or reason, and our request for an audience with Sonia Gandhi have not got any response. A party that does not respect its past, can never hope to build a future,” said expelled Congress leader and former MP Dr Santosh Singh.
The communication gap between leaders and workers in the UP Congress is widening rapidly, and that various WhatsApp groups within the party are a testimony to the increasing resentment.
Deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya said, “Priyanka is a Twitter leader, and she believes that a tweet a day will keep Congress afloat. The day is not far when Congress will also remain a party on Twitter. If the BJP is at the forefront, it is because our leaders are working at the grassroots level-whether it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi or chief minister Yogi Adityanath.”
Congress workers are now demanding a face-to-face open interaction with Priyanka Gandhi.
“If there is no stock-taking of the situation, the day is not far when the Congress will end up with zero seats in the state as well as the Lok Sabha,” said a leader.
Kapil Sibal Questions Gandhi’s Again?
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who was one of the 23 leaders who wrote a letter seeking sweeping reforms in the party, has again questioned the functioning of the party leadership.
Contending that he was “compelled to speak publicly” as there is “no forum in the party to discuss party issues”, he said that the Congress needs efficient and senior leaders to manage elections.
His statements coming in the wake of the party’s dismal performance in the Bihar Assembly polls, as well as the string of polls in various states, are viewed as an apparent attack on team Rahul Gandhi whose handpicked team was involved in the election process. He also expressed unhappiness that no senior party leader had spoken on the Bihar results.
Several Congress leaders have spoken out after the Bihar results in which the Congress was found to be the weakest link in the opposition combine, winning only 19 seats of the 70 it contested. It also lost the by-polls where it was in direct contest with the BJP. Sibal said the party has to acknowledge that it is “on a decline” and needs multiple ways to strengthen itself, ranging from organisational restructuring and media management.
He also stressed that his party needs thoughtful leadership which can be more articulate and take things forward. “The party has more experienced people for discussion (those) who can understand the political situation and have to reach out to the people.”
He also contended that the party is no longer a force and it has to be more conversant with the situation. The group of 23 leaders had written a letter to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi in August, seeking a complete overhaul of the party and elections from block to the Congress Working Committee level, but came under significant attack.