By Nora Chopra

Rahul Gandhi will contest the party president post next year.  Before July 2015, Sonia Gandhi is likely to abdicate In favour of her son and will hold the post of some kind of local guardian of the party depending on the name being given to her position on the liens of the kind of a Marg Darshak in the BJP. In a meeting with the Congress Party’s election authority Mullapally Ramachndran about ten days ago, Rahul is supposed to have told him that this time the election should not be on the basis of consensus but elections should be held in a democratic manner. His Youth Congress boys on Monday at the meeting of the general secretaries with the election authority Ramachandran also gave a presentation of the kind of elections the Youth Congress has been having and asked him to hold election of the Congress office bearers also on the same lines.  But Ramachandran has made it very clear to them that he would not move an inch from the Congress constitution and not according to the whims of the Youth Congress boys. Anyway the hunt has begun for another Jitendra Prasad who can contest seriously against Rahul Gandhi, but going by the sentiments within the party gaining momentum after each defeat, there is an apprehension that Rahul may lose if election is held seriously.




With elections over in both the states of Maharashtra and Haryana, it is now time for introspection in the 128 year old Congress Party. The blame game has started and both the chief ministers Prithviraj Chavan and Bhupinder Singh Hooda are being blamed for the party’s defeat in the state. While both Ajay Yadav and Selja, the known adversaries of Hooda have attacked him, it s a known fact that Hooda worked hard not to get any Congress leader elected but he worked to ensure the defeat of all those who were given tickets against his wishes. Most of the 15 MLA s who have won the election in Haryana are from the CM quota. 12 out of fifteen are Hooda men. Barring Kiran Choudhury and Surjewala, all are Hooda supporters. . He worked to get others defeated, and despite apprehensions expressed by the state leaders and hundreds of complaints lodged against Hooda by the majority in the state unit, the high command stuck to him. Perhaps they wanted to put the responsibility of the defeat on him rather than Rahul or Sonia. Similar is the Prithviraj case. He was known to be a man without any grassroots base. As AICC general secretary, he lost all the states he was incharge of.  There were consistent complaints against him that there was no compatibility between him and other state leaders. He worked not for the party but only to build his own image. He tried to tarnish the image of his predecessor particularly of Ashok Chavan as he feared that if he is exonerated, then he might replace him as CM. He joined hands in the last leg with the PCC chief Manik Rao Thakre and seized a large number of tickets. . In exchange he and Thakre together cut the ticket of the sitting MLA Nandini Parveker to give Thakre’s son the ticket from Yavatmal — who even lost his deposit. The entire campaign was Prithviraj centric and the others were kept out of it including Rahul and Sonia. Most Maharashtra leaders were either misled or not informed about the venue and dates of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia’s visits.




All is not well in Jharkhand. Amit Shah may have become hero in other states but in Jharkhand he is under fire even when the poll dates have yet not been announced. Shah is under pressure to declare the CM candidate. As the hunt for the CM candidate is on, things in Jharkhand are far from hunky dory. And even the party president Amit Shah was not spared the proverbial sight of dirty linen being washed in public when he went to attend a meeting in the state. Some members belonging to a particular BJP leader and ex union minister kept addressing him as incoming Chief Minister. But when it was Shah’s turn to speak, he made it clear that the issue of the chief minister would be settled by the newly elected legislators. He even warned the state leaders not to project anyone as the future chief minister




Please do not wear black shirt or a tee shirt if you have to attend any rally in Haryana. Two weeks ago when prime minister Narendra Modi went to Karnal in Haryana, a reporter of a TV news channel who wore a black tee shirt was shocked when he was stopped by the Haryana police  suspecting him to be a protester. The reporter tried hard to convince him that he was a reporter and had come to cover the rally. He showed the press card but it was of no use. The policemen were not willing to listen to him at all. Are bhai tu koi bhi ho par tu yeh kali shirt pehen ke andar nahin ja sakta ,the Haryana police kept harping ,  They kept singing the same song that he could enter only if he changes his shirt but he cannot go inside with a black shirt on. The poor reporter was so hassled that he gave them the option of taking his shirt off and going in his vests. The police agreed to this but in between somebody from the media who saw him being harassed, informed the organizers who announced from the podium that the said person should be left free to come in. The organizers had to send a person to get him free from the clutchs of the Haryana police. It was then they said correspondent took a sigh of relief and swore not to wear black shirt at any rally of Narendra Modi.




A major organizational reshuffle is on cards in the Congress Party soon after the next round of assembly polls. Though Rahul Gandhi will have the major say in the new appointments but the decision will be collective. There is pressure to remove those general secretaries who have failed to get the party elected in the states under their charge or against those there were complaints pending from their respective states. Topping the list are the three Rahul Gandhi favourites, Mohan Prakash, Madhusudan Mistry and C P Joshi. All three have been held responsible for the party’s debacle beginning from Uttar Pradesh to Maharashtra. Mohan Prakash was involved in the UP elections where he imported people from other parties on the eve of the elections triggering resentment in the state leadership and thus resulting in the party’s defeat. He was in charge of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and now Maharashtra. The party not only lost both in Gujarat and MP assemblies but performed miserably In Lok Sabha elections also, in all three states, the party was decimated.  Even before the Maharashtra elections were over, Mohan Prakash had conceded defeat. In his report to the Congress president Prakash has conceded that the party is unlikely to win. Though he ha blamed the chief minister and the infighting in the party, many leaders hold him responsible for the party’s performance. The former chef minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot, who was sent from the centre to campaign, is said to have lodged complaint with the party bosses against Prakash for playing partisan. (IPA)

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