The Congress is dealing with maybe one among its worst crises ever and the issues lie inside. From a number of senior leaders brazenly defying the highest management elevating questions on the absence of a strong construction on the prime to infighting in not less than 4 state cadres, the fixed tussle is chipping away on the get together’s possibilities of even placing up a profitable combat in 2024, and leaving it little time for anything.
It started in 2019 after Congress scion Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the put up of get together president citing the Lok Sabha ballot debacle after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP stormed to energy for a second time period. Two years on, the get together is but to resolve on a alternative whereas Sonia Gandhi holds the interim cost.
The Congress’s footprint has been shrinking since 2014, the 12 months Modi got here to energy for the primary time. The Congress is at the moment in energy in six states however has its personal chief ministers in solely three – Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the get together is only a junior alliance accomplice.
Kerala may be one of many latest entrants to the get together’s infighting woes after veteran Congress chief and KPCC former normal secretary, Ok P Anil Kumar, who was underneath suspension for ‘indiscipline’, resigned on Tuesday. At the moment, the Congres is dealing with rise up in three different states – Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
“I’m ending my 43 year-long relationship with the Congress get together,” Kumar instructed reporters in Thiruvananthapuram. He stated although he had submitted his clarification after the get together motion in opposition to him final month, the suspension was but to be revoked. Quickly after the chief introduced his resignation, KPCC chief Ok Sudhakaran issued a press notice saying Kumar was expelled from the first membership of the get together.
The Congress in Kerala had “briefly suspended” Anil Kumar together with former MLA Ok Sivadasan Nair on August 29 for publicly expressing displeasure over the collection of the get together’s district chiefs within the state by the AICC,
G-23: The primary seen crack
In August final 12 months, 23 veterans and a few of the strongest faces of the get together after the Gandhis wrote a letter to get together chief Sonia Gandhi, asking her for “sweeping modifications” within the get together. The listing contains 5 former chief ministers, sitting MPs Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, members of Congress Working Committee and over a dozen former union ministers with years of political expertise.
Within the letter, the letter known as for full time and efficient management, seen and energetic within the area, elections to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and an “institutional management mechanism” aimed on the get together’s revival. The signatories additionally wrote that the get together’s revival was crucial at a time “when the nation faces the gravest political, social and financial challenges since Independence”.
In one other public present of dissent in February, the G-23 leaders (as they got here to be recognized), together with Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Kapil Sibal, publicly vented out their anger and forward of the meeting elections in Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, and stated the ‘get together was weakening they usually have come collectively to strengthen it’.
“It’s an event to talk the reality and I’ll communicate the reality. Why have we gathered right here? The reality is we are able to see that the Congress is weakening. We had gathered earlier additionally and collectively we’ve to strengthen the Congress,” Sibal stated addressing an occasion devoted to Mahatma Gandhi in Jammu.
Azad, who was among the many vocal letter-writers, was not given a renomination after his Rajya Sabha tenure ended.
Punjab: The sticky wicket
In Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu has not missed any alternative to tackle Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh regardless of repeated pleas from the get together excessive command and state in-charge Harish Rawat. The 2 leaders have shared frosty ties for lengthy and their variations got here to a head when Sidhu was invited by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, a colleague from their cricketing days, for his oath-taking ceremony in August 2018. Regardless of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s opposition, Sidhu went to Pakistan and in addition hugged the nation’s military chief Qamar Javed Bajwa when the latter talked about Islamabad’s intention of opening the Kartarpur Sahib hall for Sikh pilgrims.
Additional in 2019, Sidhu had blamed Singh after his spouse was denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Chandigarh. The chief minister had denied the cost.
Tensions between the CM and Sidhu flared up in April this 12 months after the Punjab and Haryana Excessive courtroom quashed a probe report into 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident. Sidhu had attacked the CM by way of his tweets over the difficulty of alleged delay in justice within the 2015 sacrilege and subsequent police firing incidents. The Amritsar legislator had resigned as minister in 2019 after he was divested of his Native Our bodies portfolio. Sidhu had joined the Congress after leaving the BJP earlier than the 2017 Meeting polls.
Rajasthan: A uneven trip
The chilly warfare between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his now sacked deputy Sachin Pilot started with the Congress choosing Gehlot for the chief minister’s put up after the 2018 meeting polls in a snub to Pilot. Pilot’s supporters stated he deserved credit score for the get together’s victory election after a marketing campaign helmed by him as its state unit chief. The Congress in July final 12 months eliminated Pilot as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state get together chief after he mounted a rise up in opposition to Gehlot, and in addition the Rajasthan speaker despatched disqualification discover to him and 18 different MLAs after they defied a celebration whip to attend two Congress Legislature Occasion conferences. Nonetheless, fearing a Jyotiraditya Scindia-like fiasco in Rajasthan, he was placated sufficient by the get together excessive command to stay within the get together. Scindia introduced down the Kamal Nath authorities by leaping ship to the BJP together with his 20 loyalist MLAs final 12 months.
Pilot has to date maintained a dignified place in public accepting his function within the state after being sacked as Deputy CM, however his persistence is being examined as deliberations by the get together for almost two months now for a cupboard reshuffle haven’t resulted in any motion. He has been demanding that his loyalists be accommodated within the Rajasthan Cupboard earlier than the meeting session within the state begins however Gehlot appears to be in no temper to relent regardless of a number of public shows of bonhomie and assurances of ‘forgive and neglect’.
Chhattisgarh: A 50-50 selection
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Well being Minister TS Singh Deo have been known as to Delhi by the Congress excessive command late final month the place the 2 have been instructed to clear their variations and to do it quickly. The political corridors of Chhattisgarh had been rife with speculations that the assembly was on discussions of the CM’s alleged two-and-a-half-years formulation.
Deo claimed that based on an settlement made after the Congress got here to energy in Chhattisgarh in 2018, he ought to have gotten the chief minister’s put up after 2.5 years. Bhagel had denied the declare. Sources say that this has been a significant purpose for a rising rift between the 2 politicians. Weeks in the past, Deo had flayed the Baghel authorities’s plan of roping in personal gamers for reinforcing healthcare within the state and stated he wasn’t consulted on the matter.
The Chhatisgrah Congress plunged into one other disaster in August after MLA Brahaspat Singh accused Deo of plotting his homicide following an assault on his motorcade. An upset Deo had stormed out of the meeting and the matter was solely settled after the intervention of senior leaders.
Infighting popped up within the get together but once more because the well being minister inaugurated the get together workplace Rajiv Bhawan in Sarguja and the premises was re-inaugurated by meals minister Amarjeet Bhagat by reducing a ribbon. Supporters of each the leaders additionally had come to blows.