Congress: The Most Unearthly Enigma On Earth As Prashant Kishor Fails Again!

In the digitalized modern world, every device has either to be updated regularly or discarded entirely for a new one to keep the user relevant to the times. If the old device continues to be used in total disregard to the warnings the user becomes useless and almost a nuisance to the society and the other users. In such a state-of-the-art setup the Indian National Congress (INC or simply the Congress) seems to be the only device…sorry…a national political party, that steadfastly refuses to be updated, showing an unearthly disdain to change in pace with the times. It has done nothing after losing promising young firebrand leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and others; it has done nothing after its 23 top leaders, famously forming the G-23, separated themselves from the party asking for reforms and structural changes; it has done nothing to change the leadership even after losing elections again and again since 2014; and it has done nothing even after the celebrated poll-strategist Prashant Kishor who had brought the Mamata Banerjee government back to power in West Bengal with an incredible majority last year came forward willingly to help the beleaguered monolith two times in two years.


Why is the oldest national political party of the largest democracy of the world so inimical to change? Well, it cannot possibly part with the Gandhi leadership, such is its devotion to the family. They, the staunch loyalists, say no other Congress leader can replace the Gandhis because they say further that only the Gandhis still possess a pan-India presence and recognition. They don’t seem to see that the Congress is gone in the North East; it’s gone to in the East too; it’s gone in the North except for somehow sticking on in Rajasthan, it’s gone in the Central region except for so far surviving in Chhattisgarh; it’s gone in the West but for being the smallest partner in the Maharashtra coalition government; and it’s gone in the South too. So, where is Gandhis’ India?


The Gandhi family cannot be blamed entirely for the sordid episodes of resisting change, because on several occasions Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi offered to resign and allow other senior leaders to take over the reins. However, the regressive loyalists refused to budge on each occasion, beseeching them like the slaves of the British to continue. They, at any cost, want to keep Rahul Gandhi as the Congress’s Prime Ministerial candidate as if for eternity. The G-23 was formed to bring in the much-required changes in leadership and in the overall structure. But the loyalists continued to advise Sonia Gandhi to thwart what they call the dissidents.


The opposition unity in the country has been suffering because of this change-resisting enigma of a party. The opposition parties, as we’ve mentioned many times in earlier pieces, fully understand that a real united opposition in India cannot be formed leaving out the oldest party of the country as the INC will contest anyway on its own all its traditional seats come what may and thus split the votes in favor of the ruling party. They neither can take the Congress in with them due to the risk of losing a huge chunk of the seats that happened in Bihar, be it in the assembly or the general elections. Most importantly, with the emergence of promising national leaders like Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, the obsession of Rahul Gandhi as the united opposition Prime Ministerial candidate has also become an obsolete enigma.


The IPAC wizard Prashant Kishor definitely understands these realities and therefore perhaps, he has kept on trying to guide the Congress to become an effective opposition partner with parties like the TMC, the AAP, the TRS and so on. He tried last year and failed. After the victory of Mamata’s TMC in 2021 where the Congress was avoided as an alliance partner Prashant Kishor gave the issue another more serious try. Several rounds of discussions between Sonia along with Congress stalwarts and Prashant Kishor had taken place in Delhi in the past few days. And it failed again with both the would-be collaborators parting ways on Tuesday, the 26th of April 2022, amicably as reported.


Here again, obviously, the regressive changing-resisting loyalists have to be blamed squarely for this failure. They must have thought that if Prashant Kishor, the kind of poll revolutionary he is, becomes an independent consultant he’d surely ask for revolutionary changes in the party’s structure and leadership to which they cannot agree at any cost. Therefore, they must have advised Sonia Gandhi to offer Kishor to be a part of Congress by joining the Empowered Action Group to strategize jointly for the General Elections of 2024. And Prashant Kishor declined, true to his role as the most-wanted independent political strategist.

A line from a famous Hindi song in the melodious voice of Kishore Kumar from the critically acclaimed Rajesh Khanna-starrer movie Amar Prem (1972), directed by Shakti Samanta with music my Rahul Dev Burman and lyrics by Anand Bakshi, comes to the mind that says, ‘…majhi jo nao duboiye, usey kaun bachaye…’ (when the boatman sinks his boat who can save him?)!


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