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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

‘Congress needs re-launch from its old bastion for revival’: former Congress MLA

As per Singh, the present dispensation cleverly clubbed religious fanaticism to national patriotism, which in itself is a dangerous combination for the country.

cities Updated: Oct 10, 2019 05:21 IST
Kenneth John
Kenneth John
Hindustan Times, Pune
As per Singh, the present dispensation cleverly clubbed religious fanaticism to national patriotism, which in itself is a dangerous combination for the country.
As per Singh, the present dispensation cleverly clubbed religious fanaticism to national patriotism, which in itself is a dangerous combination for the country.(Ht image)
         

Congress, the grand old party of India, which spearheaded the freedom movement against the British, is presently struggling for survival.

The party’s connect to Sangam city is well known and the majestic Anand Bhawan here stands as a mute testament to the party’s contribution in making India a free nation, which has come a long way in the past over seven decades.

However, the party that led the struggle for ‘swaraj’ finds itself ineffective against the present political dispensation (BJP), both as a robust opposition as well as an alternate option for the people to elect in elections, be it national or states.

According to former party MLA and All India Congress Committee (AICC) member Anugrah Narain Singh, the Congress has always kept its ethics intact and everything it did till now, including spearheading the freedom struggle, was done keeping national interest as the sole object. “The BJP government sees benefits of vote bank politics in everything,” he said.

“Today the BJP government is trying to cash in on the image of Mahatma, whose assassin draws reverence from many in the party. On Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the BJP announced that all its members of parliament would walk 150 km in their respective constituencies. If their predecessors would have walked just 150 steps with the Mahatma, partition of the country would have been avoided. Besides, there would not exist anything like Article 370 and 35A,” he claimed.

As per Singh, the present dispensation cleverly clubbed religious fanaticism to national patriotism, which in itself is a dangerous combination for the country.

At a time when even old guards like Sanjay Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi have left the party and many prominent party faces like Sanjay Nirupam of Mumbai and Aditi Singh of Rae Bareli seem to be on the rebel path, old horses of the party’s home base of Allahabad, now renamed Prayagraj, themselves seem surprised and upset with the big slide of their party.

“The Congress, which helped India attain Independence, is at present forced to watch the country get divided along communal lines. They party respects the mandate of the people and it is the public who have to wake up and act wisely,” he added.

Similarly, senior party leader Abhay Awasthi also blames the non-secular approach of the ruling BJP as reason for Congress debacle in 2019 general elections.

“Congress has still not been able to find a solution for the religious fanaticism which BJP cashed in on for getting into the driver’s seat. The party has not been able to come out of its secular module while the BJP was quick to cash in on religious feelings of the majority in country. The BJP also achieved success in politically trapping the Congress on issues like coal scam, 2G spectrum scam etc. in 2014 even though the BJP has till now failed to prove these allegations even when it is in its second tenure,” he added.

Many party leaders believe the Congress needs to return to its roots and bastion of Allahabad (Prayagraj) to reinvent itself and reconnect with the people through its patriotic appeal that has always struck a chord with the common man.

“The party needs to once again launch itself from Allahabad (Prayagraj), the city from which it spread all over the country over a century back after coming in to existence in 1885 in Mumbai. The holy land of today’s Prayagraj can help Congress once again spread its reach. This time the party should focus on the young Indians while also taking along its faithful oldies,” said Javed Urfi, party’s former zonal spokesperson and a fourth generation Congress leader.

Further, former UPCC spokesperson Kishore Varshney said the Congress ruled the country for most part of Independent India, which made the country make its presence felt on the global scene.

“Such phases are experienced by every political party at some or the other point of time and there is nothing peculiar about it. The party is in the process of reorganizing its structure and soon would emerge as a strong political force capable to take the nation on the path of progress as before,” he said.

Party leaders, however, concede that the internal war between the old guard (desperately trying to retain its relevance within the party) and the young guns (wanting to grab the reins and steer the party again to power) has been a challenge for the party.

They also concede that the successive defeats by the party in assembly as well as general elections have made it lose its place even as the main opposition party.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 05:20 IST

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