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Congress power play, a mockery of people’s will

Congress power play, a mockery of people’s will

The Congress party's delay in deciding on the Chief Minister and the internal tussle that took place openly in the meantime have tarnished the lustre of the sterling victory in Karnataka. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media that it will take the next 48-72 hours to resolve the power struggle. Although the party leadership has been formulating and offering different equations to appease the chief ministerial ambitions and power pursuit of the two leaders both of whom have been the architects of the party's stupendous success, not only are the leaders not relenting, but their supporters have begun open battle cries in Delhi and Karnataka. A state that has been hailed as the crowning example of unity, Karnataka now reiterates the reality that the innate trait of the Congress - of ignoring the lessons of compromises along the way and engaging in power play with each other as soon as the seat of power is within reach - is least likely to change even with any Bharat Jodo Yatra.

It is an undisputed fact that the thumping victory in Karnataka was woven together with Siddaramaiah's popularity and D.K Shivakumar's planning skills as warp and weft. Undoubtedly, it also paved the way for an extraordinary energy boost for the opposition unity and progress in the national politics. The reactions of the opposition leaders who acknowledge the leadership role of the Congress in the upcoming five assembly elections and the subsequent Lok Sabha elections are surely a reflection of the big victory in Karnataka. The other day, Mamata Banerjee while talking to the media in Kolkata, proposed a new seat-sharing formula for cooperating with the Congress, which is a positive sign. Similar to that is Sharad Pawar's statement that the Karnataka model should be implemented in other states and that like-minded parties should work on a common minimum program (CMP). These words make it clear that the 2024 elections will not be easy for the BJP as everyone has predicted. Also, with the Karnataka victory, Congress has managed to convey to the general public the belief that the authoritarian tendencies India has been facing can be overcome through opposition unity and the right endeavour at the grassroots. However, the power tussle that has been prolonging unresolved, proves that the mutual respect of the leaders and the unity of the supporters is only a balloon that can burst any moment.

It is essential to remind that civil society organizations and social movements have also played a major role in the victory even as Congress continues to expose its baggage of incurable maladies even at this critical juncture. Various groups and community movements like 'Eddelu Karnataka', a coalition of various social groups, have played a role in resisting the politics of hate and corruption unleashed by the BJP and Sangh affiliates in Karnataka. Even former IAS officer Shashikant Senthil, who devised the electoral strategy for the Congress, acknowledges that such groups have played a significant role in consolidating the Dalit and Muslim votes in favour of the Congress in 107 constituencies where the BJP has an upper hand. He also opined that the Congress should take the initiative to expand the activities of such civil societies at the national level. But through its current stances, the party is ruining the spirit and the energy of such political opportunities through this.

Congress's consistent negligence in resolving its internal issues has given opportunities for BJP's political games and disappointed those hoping for pluralistic politics. Sachin Pilot is busy organizing a protest rally against the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, which is heading for assembly elections. In Rajasthan, which is plagued by internal conflicts, the power tussle and clashes between the leaders there, are making things easier for the BJP to return to power. In Kerala too, the disputes over the party's reorganisation do not seem to end. If the Congress fails to show the willingness and resolve to put an end to the internal conflicts, it will risk eroding the credibility that the party has been building so far. And if that happens, it should be the party leaders and workers who must first realize that a comeback for Congress will then not be easy.

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TAGS:Karnataka PoliticsCongressSiddaramaiahD K Shivakumar
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