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Gloom, doom and a million mutinies to come

March 04, 2014 08:47 IST

Congress BEWARE: Gloom, doom and a million mutinies to come

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Renu Mittal

With the mood in the party one of “gloom and doom”, some MPs are getting ready to desert the Congress.

A poor result in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections could lead to a “million mutinies”

Rediff.com’s Renu Mittal reports

In a desperate attempt to keep the morale of the party high in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday hosted a farewell dinner for the party’s parliamentarians, AICC general secretaries and secretaries at her residence.

Sources say that the mood was one of gloom and despondency with a number of MPs staying away from the dinner -- some because they have already moved back to their constituencies after Parliament’s winter session ended while others like Jagdambika Pal are angry and upset with the party leadership and are in talks with the BJP for a ticket.

Whilst the names of many such MPs have so far not surfaced except Pal who candidly admits he is angry and upset and in the mood to leave the party, there is speculation about many others.

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Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi laying the foundation stone for development project in her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli
Photographs: Courtesy: Congress party

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Congress BEWARE: Gloom, doom and a million mutinies to come

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Renu Mittal

Senior leaders say that with the mood in the party one of “gloom and doom”, more MPs are expected to exit the Congress while a poor result would lead to a “million mutinies”.

The old guard versus Rahul Gandhi tussle has resulted in a number of senior leaders not pitching in to the extent they should have been.

This has led to delayed decisions, allies moving on to greener pastures and lack of a coherent policy on how the party would take on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The biggest setback for the Congress has been its failure to stitch together alliances that could help the party get seats and boost the tally as had happened in 2004 and then in 2009.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference in New Delhi
Photographs: Courtesy Congress party

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Congress BEWARE: Gloom, doom and a million mutinies to come

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Renu Mittal

The Congress has continued its existing alliance with Sharad Pawar and his Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.

It has firmed up an alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand with the Congress fighting 9 seats, the Rashtriya Janata Dal 1 and the JMM 14. The RJD has been asking for one more seat.

With Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party out of the United Progressive Alliance and back into the arms of the National Democratic Alliance, the Congress has no alliance so far in Bihar.

RJD chief Lalu Yadav is waiting for the Congress to say “kabool hai” while the Congress is still wooing Janata Dal-United’s Nitish Kumar with the Bihar chief minister asking for a special package for the state as a face saver to come to them for they have already attended meetings with the ‘Third Front’ in Delhi.

In Tamil Nadu, the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have been unable to come together since the latter has chosen to keep its options open for the post-poll scenario, depending on who forms the government.

In Telangana, neither a merger nor an alliance with the TRS has been firmed up since K Chandrashekhar Rao’s son K T Rama Rao is looking at tying up with the BJP.

In Seemandhra, the Congress is in bad shape with YSR Congress’s Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telugu Desam Party’s Chandrababu Naidu wooing the BJP.

In West Bengal, there is no tie up with Trinamool Congress. It is possible that in a post-poll scenario, TC chief Mamata Banerjee can give support to the BJP just as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Jayalalithaa.

Suddenly, the Congress is the pariah being shunned and ignored by old friends and loyalists for popular sentiment.

The only good news of the day for the Congress came when the party’s students’ wing, the National Students Union of India, bagged 15 of the 24 seats that were on offer in key varsity bodies, including the powerful Senate.

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Image: Sonia Gandhi at her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli
Photographs: Courtesy Congress party

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