By refusing to appear on the same stage as the PM, Cong is being churlish
The Congress really appears to be losing the plot. This is evident from the childish reaction of some of its chief ministers who have refused to share the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda being jeered by some people when he was in Mr Modi’s company.
While jeering should be condemned in no uncertain terms, Mr Hooda, it would seem, is being hyper-sensitive about an issue he could have laughed off.
His allegation that the whole matter had been orchestrated by the BJP is largely unsubstantiated.
There are lumpen elements present in any such gathering and it does not require much imagination to say that it was their doing.
Genuine party members would very likely stick to a disciplinary code of conduct and would not do anything that would tarnish the reputation of the BJP. The next to be booed was Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren when he was in Mr Modi’s company in Patna.
However, things have been made worse by Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan deciding to following in Mr Hooda’s footsteps. And it may not be coincidental that the assembly elections are ahead in these two states.
Having gone through the rough and tumble of politics, Mr Chavan and Mr Hooda have seen much worse sides of our democracy.
If Mr Hooda is so cut up with what has happened, he could have ordered an inquiry into what had happened, and had the culprits punished. Instead the Congress CMs have dragged the prime minister into the controversy, which is not in good taste.
When Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as deputy chief minister of West Bengal professedly boycotted a function, attended by the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to observe the birth centenary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, he did so on grounds of conviction.
Mr Bhattacharjee was only expressing his dissent with the Jan Sangh and the Hindu Mahasabha, the organisations to which Mookerjee belonged.
Surely this is a matter for debate. But what the Congress is doing is not raising the level of politics and this can alienate the party further from the people. The Congress’ churlish pronouncements can only serve to strengthen the BJP. This is something the Congress could do without at this juncture.