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Dynasty doesn’t want to lose control over Congress

Dynasty doesn’t want to lose control over Congress

Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power and the Congress was crushed in May 2014, the country has witnessed many a drama in the grand old party but no dramatic change. The present one too, sadly, may end up with the same upshot—a Gandhi-Nehru at the top. The only good thing is that this episode has made it crystal clear, if any clarity was needed, that the dynasty does not want lose control over the GOP.

The current drama was triggered by a letter 23 senior Congress leaders—including many former Union ministers, five former chief ministers, several Congress Working Committee members, and sitting Parliamentarians—wrote to the interim party president Sonia Gandhi. The signatories included: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad; former chief ministers Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rajender Kaur Bhattal, M. Veerappa Moily, and Prithviraj Chavan; former Union ministers Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, and Shashi Tharoor; and several other Parliamentarians and party office bearers.

Consider Rahul Gandhi’s reaction: the leaders who wrote the letter were “colluding with the BJP.” So much for the dynasts’ tolerance: dissent is sacrilege, and those who dare to differ with them are not in error but in sin. Such is the degree of intolerance that somebody as senior as Kapil Sibal had to sharply retort to the charge of collusion.

He tweeted: “Rahul Gandhi says ‘we are colluding with BJP.’ Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favor of BJP on any issue. Yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP’!” Later, he deleted the tweet. The party also said that Rahul never made the collusion remark.

Evidently, efforts have been made to iron out the differences between Rahul and Sibal, but the spat did expose the former’s intolerance.

There were usual theatrics—many senior party leaders expressing faith in the dynasty, the staged protests by Congress workers urging Sonia to continue, the standard statements made by top leaders.

We hoped that the rebellion by the 23 leaders in the Congress may bring in meaningful change—that is, a non-dynasty leader at the helm of affairs, a leader who, unlike Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, is not beholden to the Left. The dynasty is in no mood to relinquish its vice-like grip over the grand old party, notwithstanding the pro-democracy utterances and we-don’t-long-for-power homilies made by the family members..