Congress’ complacency pushed itself to humbled opposition in Bihar power game
The Congress has rushed AICC in-charge for Bihar CP Joshi to keep its flock together ahead of the crucial trust vote.india Updated: Jul 27, 2017 14:51 IST
The political turmoil that saw re-emergence of a BJP-backed government led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar has pushed the Congress back in 2005 era—from an ally in power to a pillion rider of the RJD-led opposition in the assembly.
After being ousted by the JD(U)-BJP dispensation from power, the Congress had to be settled down in the opposition with its pack of nine legislators and 55 MLAs of RJD in the assembly of 243 seats.
No wonder that a Congress veteran and Congress legislator party leader Sadanand Singh summed up the scenario as ‘the worst case for the party in Bihar.’ “I have never seen such a disappointing state for the party in my 48 years political career,” remarked Singh, who had donned the posts of president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) and assembly speaker.
A section of the senior BPCC leaders attributed the fall in Congress’ status either to complacency of party seniors in All India Congress Committee (AICC) or the party’s manoeuvrability to deal with complex political moves.
“Nitish Kumar to went ahead to revive its ties with the BJP, as the Congress failed to read his mind and moves. There is strong possibility that AICC chief Sonia Gandhi might be kept in dark about ground realities complicated by surreptitious moves of the JD(U) to rake up old cases against its trusted ally and RJD chief Lalu Prasad,” said former Union minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh, who was the first senior party leader to blast against Nitish Kumar in the midst of political turmoil.
Apparently emboldened by AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi’s tirade against Nitish Kumar as ‘an opportunist’ and man with ‘no principle’, Akhilesh intensified his attack on the Bihar CM saying that he had fallen back in the lap of Sangh.
“Sangh mukt Bharat ka nara dene wale aaj Sangham sharanamm gachhami ho liye (the man who spearheaded a campaign against RSS has joined hands with the communal brigade),” said Akhilesh obliquely referring to his inclination towards things associated Lord Budhha.
Sources in the AICC said the Congress, which had once played a pivotal role in formation of Grand Alliance (GA) comprising JD(U) and RJD, withdraw itself from the burgeoning differences in the coalition after it realised that Nitish Kumar had made up his mind to walk out of it.
“Nitish gave his first obvious hint of walking out of GA when he declined AICC chief Sonia Gandhi’s invite to decide the opposition’s nominee for presidential candidate and attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dinner a day later. Nitish had realised that the Congress would not project him as the opposition’s face as PM for 2019 poll, and hence he adopted the best political move,” said a senior AICC leader.
Wary of Nitish Kumar’s ability to engineer crack in the opposition, the Congress has rushed AICC in-charge for Bihar CP Joshi to keep its flock together ahead of the crucial trust vote. Joshi will be holding meeting of the party legislators and seniors to contemplate the best suited strategy for revival of the party.
However, AICC media panellist Prem Chandra Mishra said the party should focus more attention on rejuvenating the organisation than relying back on the alliance. “Alliance is important at this juncture, but the party should also acknowledge a strong party was a prerequisite for respectable position in the alliance. Congress kept on losing its ground owing to its dependency on the allies,” he said.
Stressing for immediate revamping of the organisation to bolster its image among the masses, a former BPCC vice president said it was unfortunate that the party failed to capitalise its position in power to strengthen the organisation.
“In its 20-month stint in power, the Congress failed to live either as a negotiator to avoid fall of GA or used the opportunity to establish itself as a party to reckon with. It also failed to take the initiative to ensure restructuring of various boards, corporation other government bodies like 20-point programme committees to accommodate party functionaries in them, lest it could displease the chief minister,” said the Congress leader.