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Congress to build on Rajasthan patch-up

For the Congress party, insiders says, there are key takeaways from the Rajasthan crisis that could help the party in dealing with factional fights within the party.

For the Congress party, insiders says, there are key takeaways from the Rajasthan crisis that could help the party in dealing with factional fights within the party.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The end of the month long rebellion in Rajasthan is a strong comeback by the Congress party to upset BJP’s ‘dream’ of forming a government in the State despite being in minority, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted on Tuesday.

“Congratulations to the eight crore people of Rajasthan. Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s vision and resolve to take everyone along and Ms. Priyanka Gandhi’s support bore results. The solution could be found because of the maturity shone by Ashok Gehlot [Chief Minister] and faith of Mr. Sachin Pilot,” Mr. Surjewala tweeted in Hindi.

For the Congress party, insiders said, there are key takeaways that could help the party in dealing with factional fights within the party.

Tackling dissidence early

Until it blew up and threatened the stability of the government, the central leadership chose to either ignore the friction between Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot or play it down because of the stature of the Chief Minister.

A similar tension is growing within the party in Punjab but the central leadership is yet to adopt a pro-active approach to bring together the two warring parties. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Rajya Sabha MP and former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa have been openly trading charges.

 

“From Sidhu [Navjot Singh Sidhu] to Bajwa, there are leaders who have questions regarding the style of functioning of the government. Ms. Gandhi should intervene and bring all the parties on the same page,” said a senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named.

Role of Gandhis

Unlike Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress’ top leadership, including the Gandhi family seemed too slow to react and failed to stop Jyotiraditya Scindia from walking over to the BJP, the party’s first family stepped in early in Rajasthan. Despite bitter statements from both the camps, the Congress leadership, including Ms. Vadra, kept channels of communication with Mr. Pilot open.

“In M.P. too, if Soniaji had met with all the MLAs as soon as the first attempt to break them away by bringing them to the Gurgaon hotel took place, our government may not have fallen. We were too slow to react,” a Rajya Sabha member said.

Exploit divisions

The Congress is said to have ‘exploited’ the divisions in both the BJP as well as the Pilot camp.

 

While former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s reservation about the move to topple the government is believed to have slowed down the BJP’s plan, the Congress managed to ‘divide’ the Pilot camp by persuading eight-term MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma to break ranks. Mr. Sharma later met party general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal on Sunday. That meeting, a senior leader camping in Rajasthan argued, was a turning point to put pressure on Mr. Pilot to resolve the dispute.

Devolution of power

Though Mr. Gehlot will continue as Chief Minister, the party is likely to find a mechanism where there is devolution of power and make the governance structure more ‘participative’ to involve the elected MLAs, another leader said.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 4:56:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-to-build-on-rajasthan-patch-up/article32326058.ece

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