In face of a possible implosion, cracks within the Congress party are more visible than ever. After the embarrassment that party had to face after several senior leaders took a stand contrary to the party line on abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, in a recent series of remarks several senior leaders of the grand old party have come out openly criticizing the Congress for its constant demonizing of PM Modi.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday last week had said that “demonising” Narendra Modi was “wrong” and the prime minister should be praised for doing the right things. Soon, several other leaders joined in to support Jairam Ramesh on his views. “Always said demonizing Modi wrong. No only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad & indifferent they must be judged issue wise and nt person wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds (sic),” Singhvi tweeted echoing Ramesh’s views.
Always said demonising #Modi wrong. No only is he #PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad & indifferent—they must be judged issue wise and nt person wise. Certainly, #ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds. #Jairamramesh
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) August 23, 2019
Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor also seconded Ramesh’s views and said, “As you know, I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time.”
While staunch Gandhi loyalists soon jumped in to defend the grand old party and question the dissenters, it is important to note that despite Jairam Ramesh starting this sequence Congress has sent a show cause notice to only Shashi Tharoor asking for an explanation over his “praise” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Selective targeting of Shashi Tharoor despite his strong electoral record and a relatively cleaner image compared to other leaders of the Congress party surely reeks of a lingering conspiracy within the grand old party. Shashi Tharoor had emerged as a direct challenge to the Gandhi family when Rahul Gandhi’s resignation drama was peeking. Although Shashi Tharoor did not openly stake claim for the post, many in the Congress feared that his assent would destabilize Gandhi family’s strong hold on the grand old party. Similar threat is not presented by Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Manu Singhvi which might be the reason for Congress holding back its horses against them, however evidently in case of Shashi Tharoor the threat is real with the current instability in the party.
Earlier Shashi Tharoor got in the spotlight after he had taken a stand counter to the stand of the Gandhi Nehru family with regard to offer of mediation on Kashmir made by US President Trump. Shashi Tharoor had said, “I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession.”
I honestly don't think Trump has the slightest idea of what he's talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India's position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession. https://t.co/DxRpNu6vw2
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 22, 2019
Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, instead of calling out Trump for his vacuous comment, had questioned the Indian side and took aim at Prime Minister Modi. Also, in another incident of raising voice against the current prevailing conditions in Congress, Shashi Tharoor, in an interview to PTI had said that “lack of clarity” over leadership following Rahul Gandhi’s resignation is hurting the grand old party.
While Congress party is known to muzzle out any voice that can threaten the leadership of the Gandhi family, this notice given to Shashi Tharoor is surely an indication of fear and insecurity. Moreover many supporters of the Congress have sided with the trio of Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor in this regard. Nonetheless, Congress has moved ahead to make this official with a show cause notice. Kerala Congress which had sent the notice in first place has also now indicated their satisfaction considering Tharoor’s reply, however, it remains to be seen if this notice was just a warning shot for the Thiruvananthapuram MP or entails with it other consequences to follow.