Congress has only itself to blame

Congress has only itself to blame

The leadership of the Congress party, and not Jyotiraditya Scindia or the BJP, should be held responsible for the likely destabilisation of the party’s own government in Madhya Pradesh. No party except one in a self-destructive mode could have let a situation as it availed in Madhya Pradesh develop into one where a leader of national stature had no option but to leave the party and join its rival. Scindia was next to the top leadership of the Congress and was one of its very visible and highly regarded leaders. His decision to leave the party did not come suddenly, and there have been many signs of his disaffection and dissatisfaction with the party. The factional struggle within the state party had been festering for long. The high command does not seem to have done much to resolve the problem. Interim president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, with whom Scindia was considered to have been close, reportedly did not find time to meet him. It is even perceived that Sonia Gandhi thought Scindia might emerge as a threat to Rahul in the party.  

Scindia’s resignation is the latest in a series of desertions from the Congress across the country in many states. They include leaders of all levels, and some of them have gone on to lead the BJP in some states. Some left because of factional problems, others because the BJP offered better prospects and most because they did not think the Congress had a future. All of them thought they did not have a future in the party, as Scindia said. There is certainly personal opportunism and a lack of scruples in this. Scindia had fewer reasons to feel aggrieved than many others and perhaps it was true that sooner or later he would have jumped ship even if he was appeased now. But the fact remains that there is a vacuum at the top in the Congress and it is unable to reorganise itself in the face of political setbacks and blows. The family has shown that it is unable to even hold it together, let alone revive and re-energise it, and the party is unable to look beyond the family. Congress is fast being reduced to an idea without leadership, and without ownership and organisation. With such easy and frequent traffic between parties, the very idea of the party system is also losing meaning and relevance. 

With the Karnataka script being re-enacted in Madhya Pradesh, the Kamal Nath government may find it difficult to survive. A similar situation may develop in Rajasthan also. The BJP, which has suffered political losses in the recent past, will stand to gain from the developments. 

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