Those keen on saving at least part of the Grand Old Party must act fast, join Pawar who split or stand on their own with 23 or 100 ready to join Sashi Tharoor! Time and tide wait for no man! Strike, one must, when the iron is red hot! Fortune favours the brave, ready to take risks! Enough is enough! james kottoor editor ccv.
Please read below George’s letter!
Two articles on Congress party came in quick succession, one by Coomi Kapur preceded by a brilliant introduction by the editor James Kottoor. The other article came from my friend, chhotebhai, on an interesting lookback on the history of the party from Indira’s time.
I would like to share my take on this party. I was a fan of this party but began to lose my faith once Rajiv was selected as PM by literally pulling him out of the cockpit of an Indian Airlines aircraft. After Rajiv’s death, the only notable PM from Congress was Narasimha Rao. He managed the show reasonably well but in the process drew flak from party President Sonia as he was too independent and did not consult her on State matters.
Following his death, fortunes of Congress began to fall and non-Congress parties ruled India for a time. By then Sonia was well-educated in the game of politics and mastered and improved on her Hindi to a level that appealed to the masses in Hindi belt. Almost single-handedly she brought victory to Congress. It is reported that she very much desired to be the PM and would have made it but for Subramanian Swami.
He discovered an obscure provision in our Constitution that restricted PM’s post to India-born citizens only. Sonia is reported to have burst out crying upon receiving a letter to this effect from then President Kalam. She was left with no other alternative other than install a dummy PM Manmohan Singh while she, as ipso-facto PM, ran the country by remote control. Sad to say that Manmohan as PM proved to be most ineffective PM that the country had.
Congress won a second term and Manmohan was more than willing to continue as PM. He seemed to have got too comfortable with the perks that go with the position. In the process, he managed to make BJP’s victory a cake walk for them. All the negative campaign against Modi coming from various quarters did not dent the party’s acceptance and Modi won a second term. The writing on the wall for Congress is clear that it is on free fall. The ability to draw voters by charming them with Gandhi name appears to be waning.
On the hand Modi-Shah combine has emerged a formidable crowd pulling block dashing any hope of Congress coming back to power. Their hope now solely rests with the extent Modi-Shah combine manage to mess up things. It does not look that way to me and I believe that assuming things do not worsen from here on, BJP victory can be taken for granted. In the backdrop of this, it does not help Congress to continue to dither the responsibility to take hard decisions, which is, to find a substitute for Sonia.
It is almost comical that Congressmen go after Rahul and Priyanka to take over. It will be a tragedy for Congress if it sidelined the 23 persons who signed a letter for reform or they left the party. It is right now filled with many dead woods who are 80 plus. Sonia should go in for much younger leaders with the position of Congress president going to non-Gandhi or non-Nehru. A cartoon I happened to come by in Times of India suggested that whoever gets elected as the new president should change the name to Gandhi or Nehru.
India needs a strong opposition, not that I have anything on the way Modi runs the government. I am actually a fan of him. The only party with some kind of pan-India reach is Congress. Only they have the scope to become a formidable opposition. Democracy needs strong opposition to succeed. The Congress party should not betray Indian voters by their desire to keep an unwilling Rahul or Priyanka to become president of this party.