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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Congress Dilemma

By The Editor

Date of election for post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) President is approaching and it looks as if Grand Old Party (GOP) is not clear in issuing guidelines and instructions to members who are eligible to vote. Some are in favour of non-Gandhi family member whereas others stick to the tradition of having Rahul Gandhi as president. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and veteran member of the party said on September 21 that he will file his nomination if party people desire and will devote his time and energy in revitalising and strengthening the Indian National Congress (INC). Being Gandhi loyalist the Rajasthan Chief Minister went first to New Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi to seek her advice and abide by party’s decision and another aspirant for party’s chief post is Shashi Tharoor from Kerala. When asked about possible contest against Tharoor, Gehlot said that it is good for internal democracy of the party. However, Gehlot is favourite who has been in the party for nearly half-a-century and stands better chance of winning while the odds are much against Tharoor a member of G-23 dissident group that has raised unpleasant issues in the party including criticism of current leadership.

It is not easy to rule out Rahul Gandhi because as it is he still has quite substantive support from various parts of the country. They have more faith in and confident with the Gandhi family and some of them have publicly stated that Rahul Gandhi has learnt much during these last few years. Congress state units in Punjab and Telengana on September 21 have passed a resolution in favour of Rahul Gandhi for the post of AICC president. Punjab Congress Chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring moved a resolution and was seconded by Congress Legislative Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa in Chandigarh supported by about dozen Pradesh Congress Committees who strongly feel that Rahul is still the best. Warring informed that nearly 290 party delegates and senior party leaders leaders attended the meeting. Situation is also more or less similar in Telengana where Telengana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) came out with resolutions at meeting presided by party leader Rajmohan Unnithan, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka. In other states where Congress is still significant Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) members did not hesitate to openly express their views in favour of Rahul Gandhi who they feel can resurrect party’s fortunes to certain extent. However, the situation is not final as there is still time for any future development.

Non-BJP parties are meanwhile active in trying to forge unity and ready to take on BJP in next Lok Sabha general elections which is due in 2024, that is about a year-and-a-half hence. With joining of Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) they are gaining strength and hope that India will be soon be on the right path of democracy. Opinions may differ but if Congress plays its cards right it will be quite a force not to be easily ignored.

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