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Congress refuses to take a reality-check at Hyderabad


For reasons best known to it the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Hyderabad devoted itself to making mostly disparaging remarks in its resolution against PM Narendra Modi, even as he is being hailed across the world for successfully accomplishing a G-20 summit in New Delhi, getting African Union on board as a member and ensuring a Delhi Declaration passed at the summit.

It must be flattering for the BJP that the main opposition Congress has devoted 10 of the 14 points of its CWC resolution to PM Modi. Yet, it is surprising that Congress president Malliakarjun Kharge who in his CWC address spoke about the year 2024 marking ‘the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s election as the Congress president and how the most fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi would be to oust the BJP from power in 2024 ” did not find it to mention about inclusion of AU in the G-20 order. Knowing Gandhi’s association with South Africa, it is odd that the Congress should choose to ignore India’s role in getting the African Union as part of G-20. The party ignored what African Union Chairperson Azali Assoumani had said on becoming a G-20 member. He had said ” I was about to cry. It was an emotional moment for me because we thought there is going to be a debate and then a decision would be taken. This is the real victory of India. This is the real win for Global South. This wouldn’t have been possible without Modi-Jaishankar’s leadership and diplomacy.”

Getting personal about Rajghat

However, the most uncalled-for comment by the CWC was on the visit of G-20 heads of state to Rajghat to offer their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. A trip to Rajghat usually completes the itinerary of every visiting foreign dignitary. Then why did the CWC make such a proprietary observation about their visit to the memorial of Father of the Nation? Is it only because the Congress President was not invited to President Droupadi Murmu’s dinner? In the resolution, the CWC called “out the hypocrisy and duplicity” of the Modi government which showcases to the world the symbolism of Mahatma Gandhi while giving a free hand to those who defame him and defile his legacy”. That isn’t all. The Congress seemed so biased against Modi’s diplomatic triumph that the CWC resolution even questioned his routine visit to BJP headquarters to attend an election committee meeting where he was enthusiastically greeted by BJP workers on the success of the G-20 summit. It happened to be the day when Pak terrorists had trapped and killed three Army officers in Anantnag. Dubbing Modi’s visit to BJP headquarters ” as a celebratory extravaganza in the national capital congratulating themselves on G20 “, the Congress found it ” inexcusable and an insult ” to sacrifice lives of men in uniform. When the whole world is hailing EAM S.Jaishankar’s smart line on the Delhi Declaration on Ukraine “Bali was Bali, Delhi is Delhi,” the CWC clearly seemed to be out of touch with reality.

In this backdrop, it must be pointed out that even before Anantnag happened, the Congress could never come to terms with the success of the Delhi Declaration that came out on September 9 baring of course with the exception of diplomat MP Shashi Tharoor. In fact, when questioned about the diplomatic success of Delhi Declaration, a Congress spokesperson in a TV debate evaded crediting present political leadership and sought to pass it off as “all the work of diplomats and diplomacy ” that the Congress had built over the years. Off the record, many Congress leaders felt the party had not taken a positive approach about the G-20summit — particularly the manner in which at least 3 Congress CMs — Karnataka CM Siddaramiah, Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot– chose to skip President Droupadi Murmu’s September 9 dinner invite at Bharat Mandapam. While the ostensible reason for not making it to the event was cited as lack of permission to fly choppers by the Congress CMs, Himachal CM sprung a surprise by putting in an appearance. His presence was seen as an effort to be on the good books of the Centre for the sake of his rain-battered state. A kinder view was also taken of Punjab CM’s absence due to prior commitments. However, what took the cake was Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who skipped the dinner even as other CMs from the I.N.D.I.A alliance — Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin, and Jharkhand CM Shibu Soren- had made it a point to honor and accept President Murmu’s invite.

Fear of Rahul

When one looks at the conduct of the Congress CMs or the manner in which the CWC resolution has been drafted, the only thing that seems to matter for the party leaders right now is how will Rahul Gandhi view it — will it be acceptable to him or will it annoy him. Party sources admitted that political niceties or relevance to voters no longer not mattered. What worked was a sense of awe of Rahul Gandhi. Everyone in office in the state wanted to be on the right side of Rahul . It was fear of Rahul’ that had made 2 CMs skip President Murmu’s dinner as they felt dissidents would be set up against them .Only leaders from Madhya Pradesh like Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh aren’t in awe of Rahul Gandhi . With Swami Ramibhadracharya giving a clarion call against those denigrating sanatan dharma , it has already complicated issues in the poll-bound state. That’s why Congress leaders have ensured that no I.N.D.I.A rally is held in Bhopal as they do not want the presence of INDIA leaders like TN CM Stalin. They have reportedly sought only meetings of Priyanka Gandhi and want complete autonomy in picking candidates. It is likely that Rahul’s phase II of Bharat Jodo Yatra also may not take off as Digvijay isn’t inclined to be part of it. The veteran leader is yet to recover from the rude conduct of a media manager during J&K leg of the BJY- I in Rahul’ Gandhi’s presence. Meanwhile, buoyed by the success of its Karnataka model of winning voters with freebies, the Congress tried wooing Telangana voters with more freebies. Unperturbed by these announcements, a BJP leader pointed out how in the last assembly elections, 20 MLAs had won on Congress tickets and 12 had fled the party to join the BRS.




Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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