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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » Congress lost polls because of workers' angst: Rahul Gandhi

Congress lost polls because of workers' angst: Rahul Gandhi

By Renu Mittal
January 14, 2015 04:13 IST
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A rare meeting of the Congress Working Committee was held at 24 Akbar Road but after several hours of deliberations, Congress President Sonia Gandhi failed to put forward a road map for the party’s revival or how to broaden the party’s shrinking voter base. Instead, Gandhi focused much of her opening remarks on laying out a critique of the Narendra Modi government.

For the last decade that the congress was in power, Sonia Gandhi and her coterie of advisors had virtually made the CWC redundant relegating it to pass obituary references on the death of senior leaders.

The core committee had replaced the CWC where a handful of party leaders, most of them unelected, made decision on all national and international issues.

But after the great defeat of may 2014, the CWC has been called for the second time where the party leaders discussed the organisational elections to be held later this year and secondly to discuss the land acquisition ordinance, the issue of farmers, of minimum support price for the farmers, the coal ordinance and the forest act which is also likely to be amended.

In what is being seen as yet another move to buy time and send the message to the party rank and file that the leadership is indeed concerned and is making moves to find a road map ahead, both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi came up with the startling finding that the workers were behind the defeat of the Congress.

Rahul said that workers were unhappy as leaders did not meet or interact with them and also said that elected MLAs, MPs and ministers were killing the party as they preferred to ensure no competition grew in the party around them and instead kept trusted personal loyalists, which drove the committed party workers away from the leaders.

The fact that it took Rahul Gandhi seventh months of sitting in the opposition to articulate this, speaks volumes for the fact that the leadership has been cut off from its workers for a long time.

The workers at various levels have been shouting hoarse from the rooftops of how they were being marginalised and sidelined and had no say in the running of even their block and district levels but for so many years, the leadership failed to hear what they were saying and continued the warning signs being emitted loud and clear.

And now that the party is continuing to face defeat after defeat both at the centre and the state levels, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have asked general secretaries and other senior leaders to bring back feedback from the block level upwards on what the views of the workers are based on those processes, the party will rethink its future strategy on how to revive and the re-energise the party organisation.

But at a personal level Rahul is still as reticent as ever to meet the party workers while Sonia Gandhi has been keeping ill health. The buzz in the party continues to be that CWC failed to put forward any new formula for the revival of the party and was not even an old wine in an old bottle.

The Congress leadership as always is relying on the mistakes of the government in power to return to power at the centre and in the meantime the idea is to keep the leaders occupied so that too many questions are not asked about which way the party organisation is drifting. 

It is clear that while Rahul Gandhi is conducting his own experiments with truth, the way he sees it, Sonia gandhi appears to be in the mood to leave more and more of the decision making to Rahul Gandhi even though the CWC did not discuss his likely elevation as the next president of the Congress party.

That will happen during the organisational elections or as one leader put it, during the plenary session of the party to be held in 2016, after the organisational elections are over.

Till then the leadership will try and keep the rank and file occupied with promises that it is working hard in putting together a blue print to revive the party.

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi
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