When it was acknowledged recently that the growth rate was 7.9 per cent for the last quarter of 2015-16, a 0.4 per cent rise from the previous fiscal it was confirmed to the chagrin of the skeptics and the Opposition camp that India is the fastest growing economy right now. And when manufacturing sector registered 9.5 p.c growth between Jan-March 16, up by 4.4. p.c. from the previous and farm sector showed a sharp upswing to 1.4 p.c. from an abysmal low in the previous year a spell of silence must have ensued in the Opposition camps. Precisely because these were the prime rods they were using to beat the govt. with and the undeniable stats have left them with warts. This is not to gloat that all is well and the paradise is near. The revival of the farm sector is still some distance away, with the possibility of good monsoon but doubling their income by 2022 will remain a mere slogan unless the next three years augur adequate buffer and support price.
But this is not the gist or the motive of this blog. What matters in the changing scenario is the question whither Congress and whether they will ‘mukt’ themselves. From the recent indications they as well might, notwithstanding the Uttarakhand faux pas, the sting on Harish Rawat, the indefensible failure to pass money bill and the growing, undeniable infighting within the Congress which is hilarious at times and directed singularly against the family. By a combination of fortuitous circumstances Rawat may have won the floor test though the Supreme Court had nothing complimentary about both the camps. And with its elections in 2017 or a little earlier much of this political muck might not rub off on the electorate who would not fall for the sinned against expression of Harish Rawat any more than the fancied sinner, the BJP. More than that, what is really ailing Congress?
With its appeasement politics and fence sitting on critical issues Congress is almost on the verge of losing its political identity. Its reliance on the dynasty for political and financial reasons has left its seniors either tongue-tied or rhetorical and the young regiment built around the blue blood. There has been factionalism for two decades now, ex. Arunachal, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh and many others, because of patriarchal control and little has been done to eliminate it. Ajit Jogi of Chattisgarh is threatening to form a new party ( He has the charge of ‘fixing’ a by poll in 2014), its Tamil Nadu wing could get only 8 seats out of 41 contested, and to make it worse they lost two states badly in Kerala and Assam.
In the present political spectrum it has been marginalized as a fourth player in any state and is compelled to ally with a major regional group for political width. Precisely this fait accompli has robbed its heir apparent Rahul Gandhi of political credibility and resources to pose an alternative by himself. Strangely their charisma has been restricted to Amethi though it too could spring a surprise in 2019 if the present political ennui continues till then. It means any set back in the coming elections in UP could have a dynamo effect in Amethi too.
Till now Rahul has been on a rent an issue drive viz. FTII, Dadri, the JNU strife or the killings of rationalists, but these issues do not add any rational merit to their political defence because they lose steam in due course and also the Congress ruled states had witnessed such incidents too. Crying intolerance has not made the party any more credible as it is a double edged sword. Obstructionism in Parliament has put them in negative light before the corporate world and the people because they tire soon of it. As if to make it worse the Agusta issue has come in at the most inopportune moment reinforcing the taint of scams.
Being a nationalist party with a remarkable history of its own the Congress is like a ship in a storm looking for the light house. But to revive and rechart its course it must shed its pale, wrinkled skins and bring in more honest, fresh and healthy blood into the system. And go in for collective leadership, without the dynasty of course.