Monday, June 17, 2024

Congress needs empathy, not leaders’ sympathy

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BUDDHAVARAPU RAJESWARA PRASAD
Hyderabad

The state of the Congress party today is so pathetic that the very leaders whom the party had nurtured and elevated politically and personally are bent upon dealing a deadly blow to the organization. The developments over the last 10 days in the Telangana Congress speak a lot about the one-upmanshipamong the party brass. Other than Congress, there has never been any instance in the history of independent India of a national party that has lost its ground so much and so fast. The Congress was once solid and impregnable.

It is a known fact that it was the Congress party that gave birth to Telangana, fulfilling the long-pending aspirations of the people of the region. But it is quite ironic that the very same party is now facing a crisis of survival in the very state it had created. The squabbling among its leaders has led to this sorry situation. Had the state leaders of the Congress remained united post bifurcation, instead of submitting themselves to the lure of power, the state of the Congress party in Telangana would not have been like this. But some leaders quit in search of power, leaving the party in the lurch. Some remained in the party hoping there would be light at the end of the tunnel. But that light seems very elusive, given the internal rivalry in the party.

While the party high command has been taking every step to stem dissent in the party, it appears that the good old days are over. For, the state Congress leaders are not giving the party breathing space. They are suffocating it on every given occasion.

Taking advantage of every opportunity that comes is the forte of politicians. Nobody would like to travel on a ship that is bound to sink. So is the case with the leaders of the Congress party. Naturally, the rival national party or the stronger regional party would try to lure leaders who are worth their salt. Nobody knows why Congress leaders behave in a way that in no way helps the party. Even the leaders who raise the banner of revolt to the point of weakening the party know the consequences of their actions. Ever since Revanth Reddy took the mantle of PCC presidentship, not a single day has passed without some party leader or the other criticizing him. In politics, the ability to run the show matters a lot more than being in the party for a long time.

This applies not just to Congress, but to every party that wants to prove itself. It is natural for a hundred-year-old party like Congress to have senior leaders. But the fact of being competent to leadthe show should also be considered before raising a banner of revolt.

After successive defeats, the Congress has got a ray of hope in its victory in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. There is no doubt that the results gave the party a long-elusive fillip to face the surging BJP at the next hustings. Telangana will play a key role in the coming elections for the Congress party.

However, unless the party leaders work in unison, there won’t be any hope for the party to muster the strength necessary to face the poll confidently. The Congress has a big cadre and experienced leaders and many of them are determined to see the party regain its past glory. But the crisis of leadership and some of its leaders’ penchant for revolting against the incumbent head of the party unit make the party vulnerable to unending succession of issues.

While Rahul Gandhi has been trying to unite the organization at the national level by undertaking the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Telangana Congress leaders, who had exhibited unity at the time of Rahul’s yatra in the state, are at it again, which speaks a lot about the pathetic state of the state Congress.

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