Young Bites. Dated: 6/12/2019 1:11:34 PM

The rumblings of Rajasthan have now rolled into Punjab and Telangana with 12 MLAs joining KCR. The Congress has probably mastered the unique art of destroying the little good it has done during this general election instead of using it as a starting point to rebuild itself. And rather than change from the debacle that its performance was, managing just eight more seats than the last edition (44 to 52), it is on a ruinous downward descent, further distancing itself from its cadres and failing to sew up its torn matrix, the patches of which are further going asunder. Looks like it has taken political pundit Yogendra Yadav’s observation that the Congress must die to heart literally. While it is true that the Congress leadership must nuke some of its outdated structures to sow fresh seeds of survival, it is outrageous that it isn’t even bothered about its local warriors or standing by them. Containment of a crisis and benefitting from it is something it could learn from Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) master strategist Amit Shah’s playbook. Neither would cricketer-turned legislator Navjot Singh Sidhu have had the gall to constantly rail against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who single-handedly beat the Modi surge with his leadership rather than depending on high command strategies. In Telangana, the Congress did fare badly in the Vidhan Sabha elections but managed to arrest its erosion, winning three Lok Sabha seats this time. Still, given the crisis of confidence in the central leadership, its MLAs thought it better to invest their fortunes in KC Rao. Mind you, this faith in the TRS chief comes at a time when he himself is not as invincible as he was. In the general election, KCR was badly hit by the Modi tide with even his daughter losing her Nizamabad constituency to a BJP candidate. The TRS won just nine of 17 seats with the BJP wresting four seats in a State where its presence hardly mattered so far. Instead of harping on KCR’s somewhat comfortable and convenient relationship with the BJP, the Congress let him feast on itself and regain its strength. It is significant that all the defector MLAs mentioned the “visionary leadership” of KCR as their reason to change sides, clearly directionless about their political worth with no word from the high command. The party won eight of 13 Lok Sabha seats, up from three in 2014. The Congress should realise that Sidhu’s inclusion from the BJP did nothing for the tally. Besides turncoats can never be trusted with political responsibility. The Congress must rein in Sidhu, who is frankly now only tarnishing Capt Amarinder and stirring up a crisis when there is none. In Rajasthan, the tussle between the hard-working Sachin Pilot and entitled old guard Ashok Gehlot is widening further with each camp wanting the other to bow out. The Congress has no choice but to reward performance over predilection. Everybody wants it to commit suicide but for the leadership of the country’s grand old party, that’s definitely not an option. Would it forever want to be remembered as a party led by selfish individuals who never stood up for their own?


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