Rumours are that Congress is heading for a split. A BIG one. A national level plan is ready to free the Congress from Gandhis. A revolt led by some of the most senior members of Congress Party and supported by some of the young mass leaders from various key states.
Congress Party may face a split in December as most senior congress members seems to have decided to take on the Gandhis. Most congress leaders believe that Gandhis are the real reason behind continuous electoral debacle. These is this sense of urgency that if something is not done immediately than it will be too late to save the party.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s open criticism of the party leadership after the Bihar debacle has provoked a sharp and public rebuttal from Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who said in a series of tweets today that there was “no need” for his colleague to mention “internal issues” in the media. The veteran Congress leader also said after every electoral loss, the party had shown “undivided and firm belief in the party leadership” and had emerged stronger from each crises.
The public blow-out following yet another poll defeat, a familiar Congress play, revives the party’s unresolved leadership crisis three months after it called a big meet and claimed all was well.
Bihar was the first State that went to polls after the open revolt by a group of 23 leaders, who questioned the party’s functioning under the Gandhis.
Questions will not only be raised about the party’s strategy, but may also delay the return of Rahul Gandhi as party president, something that’s being pushed by a younger group of leaders.
A complete washout in Uttar Pradesh and a near wipe-out in Madhya Pradesh will also put a question mark on the party’s ability to be a player in the Hindi heartland States.
Rahul took over as the de facto head of the Congress in early 2014 though officially he became the president of the party in 2017. He led Congress to two ignominious drubbings in general elections – 2014 and 2019 – on the trot. Under his helmsmanship, the party has become a sinking ship and is at its lowest ebb.
It has lost a host of state elections and even in the states such as Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka where it cobbled up governments, a number of Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) deserted the Congress and joined the opposition ranks. The inability of the central leadership to keep its flock together stands flagrantly exposed. With no tangible feat – electoral or administrative – to boast of, Rahul cuts a forlorn figure. Though he stepped down as president of the party in the aftermath of 2019 pasting, and his mother took over as interim president, he continues to have the final say in all the key appointments and decisions.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, Jagan Reddy and Jyotiraditya Scindia are three such young leaders who have left the Congress in last 10 years and caused monumental harm to the Grand Old Party. Jagan formed his own political outfit and wiped Congress out in Andhra Pradesh. Sarma joined BJP and pitchforked its new party to great heights in Northereastern states. Scindia brought down Congress government in Madhya Pradesh after he defected to the BJP with over 20 MLAs.
In June this year, Congress had almost lost even Sachin Pilot, hailed as the brightest young politician in India, but for the last-minute stopgap arrangement.
Informed sources say that all is not well in the Congress. It is even being said that there is some tension between Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
We may see some fast developments in coming days and a split of congress is a real possibility.
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