It seems that the Congress which is already a depleted force after a string of defeats since the rise of prime minister Modi in 2014 is getting only weaker with its leaders fighting among themselves at the state level. Ahead of the crucial assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Congress is facing internal strife in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the main fight seems to be between the state president Kamal Nath and campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia. However, there is still uncertainty about in which direction the former Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh- Digvijay Singh- would swing. With the INC facing infighting in the states, the road ahead looks tough for the INC as far as the state of Madhya Pradesh is concerned.
Whereas in Rajasthan, former chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has expressed the desire to remain in the state to solidify his position for the chief minister chair. While the INC were planning to hoist the name of the state Congress president Sachin Pilot for the chief minister post, some statements given by Gehlot and his supporters have wreaked havoc in the camps of the Congress. The supporters of both Gehlot and Pilot have now started to blame each other which has led to further division within the ranks of the state Congress unit in Rajasthan.
Usually, the one who is closer to the Gandhi family remains in favour in such a situation. And the one who does not enjoy closeness to the family gets eliminated. Questions like merit and popularity do not warrant much consideration in the Rahul Gandhi led party. And therefore, it is only those who enjoy proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family, stand a chance of going upwards in the political ladder.
However, the INC has come up with a brilliant (pun intended) idea to resolve the conflict for chief ministership among its senior leaders. Since, the senior Congress leaders are fighting among themselves in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the party is thinking of not fielding any of these leaders at the state level. The party may not ask Madhya Pradesh state unit president Kamal Nath, Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rajasthan state unit president Sachin Pilot, and Rajasthan Congress seniors Ashok Gehlot and C P Joshi to contest assembly elections in their states. These leaders may be asked to concentrate on campaigning across their states. Thus, potential chief ministerial candidates will be reduced to mere canvassing machines. The Congress is literally striking at the root of the problem. It believes that by using this ploy it will be able to solve the complex and serious issue of leadership dispute.
This can seriously jeopardize whatever little chances the Congress had of making a comeback after a string of horrible electoral performances. The Congress is going to be the outright loser as far as the question of popularity of leaders is concerned. With the senior leaders being forced out of contest, the party will be directionless in these states. While the BJP has strong local leaders coupled with popularity of prime minister Modi to show for itself, what will the Congress offer? A weak leadership of Rahul Gandhi combined with a confused state leadership.
This strategy is as absurd as it gets. The Congress seemed to have been intimidated by the tough contest that lies ahead and the fact that its own cadres are not speaking in a unison. Therefore, in order to avoid embarrassment the Congress is thinking of giving up even before the actual battle has started. The Congress will face a mammoth defeat in all probability if the party high command decide to go ahead with this horrible strategy.