Something’s seriously flawed in the grand old party of Congress that its young and dynamic leaders continue to dissent and rebel against the party high command. The moment Jyotiraditya Scindia took an exit and joined the BJP flanks, murmurs started to grow about Sachin Pilot going down the same route sooner or later. However, Pilot did get rebellious, but he didn’t jump the sinking ship of Congress to join BJP. There have been speculations that Pilot might form his own party and challenge the hegemony of Congress and its old vanguard leaders like Ashok Gehlot who are drunk in the stupor of power.
If Pilot does go around to create his own party in Rajasthan, it wouldn’t be the first time that a similar incident has happened in Congress. If history is to be looked at, Congress has a rather ominous record when its disparaged party-members form their own party and contest against it. Congress has a strong ground presence in Rajasthan, however with its latest decision to sack Sachin Pilot from the party, it might have just shot itself in the foot. And history is witness as to whenever a regional party gets foothold in a state, the biggest loser tends to be Congress.
Rajasthan won’t be the first case. From Mamata Banerjee to Sharad Pawar to Jagan Mohan Reddy to Himanta Biswa Sharma, the examples are plenty when an ex-Congress leader has taken the fortunes of its alumnus party down the drain.
Mamata Banerjee and TMC
Mamata Banerjee was with Congress for well over 26 years but when her political wings were clipped by the dynast party, Didi took matters in her own hand, took the high route, quit Congress and formed her own party Trinamool Congress (TMC).
She rode to power to the assembly in 2011, routing the decades-old rule of the Left and simultaneously giving a black-eye to Congress. By the time the TMC supremo came into power for a second term, Congress was left to fend for itself. The 2019 General elections have further proved that Congress has become an endangered species in the state after the steady emergence of BJP. With Mamata’s rule also seeing flashes of anarchy, BJP is set to take over in the 2021 Assembly elections in the state and that can possibly mean Congress getting wiped out of the political landscape of West Bengal.
Jagan Mohan Reddy and YSR Congress
Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh was feted the same treatment after his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy died in 2009. Congress denied him the position of CM and even tried to create rift within his family by inducting Jagan’s uncle, YS Vivekandanda Reddy in the cabinet.
Several media reports have stated that Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi had extended a pretty hostile treatment to Jagan’s mother and sister when they both had visited Sonia in 2010.
After this humiliating incident Jagan swore to rout Congress off the state and ultimately left the Congress with his widowed mother YS Vijayamma, and resigned from Parliament to form the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) in 2011.
The Italian dynast sitting in 10 Janpath road even incarcerated Jagan to prison but he was stead-fast with his vow.
It took some time but in 2014, his party emerged as the second-largest party in the state and in 2019 he alone swept the elections with a majority and 151 seats and went on to become the CM of Andhra Pradesh on 30 May 2019. Jagan became the CM of the state and Congress was seen nowhere near him.
A party that ruled in Andhra Pradesh ever since its inception was sent packing into hiding. Congress could not even muster a single seat in the state as it only got 1.17 percent votes.
The egotistical nature of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi once again became the Achilles heel for Congress.
Sharad Pawar and NCP
The NCP was formed on 25 May 1999, by Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from the Indian National Congress (INC) on 20 May 1999, for disputing the right of Italian-born Sonia Gandhi to lead the party.
Although Sharad Pawar, the shrewd leader, gave support to Congress in the Union government in the state of Maharashtra from 1999 to 2014, he ditched the party in 2014 when Congress lost in the state.
Even currently when Maha Vikas Aghadi is ruling in the state, Congress is merely reduced to an afterthought as all the major decisions are overseen by Pawar and Thackeray. The step-brothery treatment that Congress is receiving in the state is because of its own wrong-doing. If it wasn’t for this alliance, Congress would have
Himanta Biswa Sharma and his charismatic leadership for BJP
A similar analogy can be given for Himanta Biswa Sharma, an astute political leader who has seen large vissccitudes in his political career. Himanta quit Congress in 2015 over ideological differences and joined the BJP ranks.
One party’s loss is other party’s gain and BJP milked Himanta’s popularity to full affect. It is touted that BJP rode to power in Assam on the shoulder of Himanta who was the architect that orchestrated the entire political narrative in the north-eastern state.
In 2016, BJP secured a historic victory in the north-eastern state of Assam by winning 60 of the 126 seats, and securing 86 seats for the NDA alliance, while the Congress party won merely 25 seats.
Rajasthan, which has been a swing state, where after every 5 years either BJP or Congress comes to power. However, as seen in the cases of other states, when a regional party gains support among the masses, Congress is usually reduced to an irrelevant party. Now, in a very likely scenario, Congress party might just have scripted its own demise in the state of Rajasthan if Sachin Pilot launches his own political party.
The lesson to Congress is simple, if it still does not learn from its past hara-kiri mistakes then the coming one decade could spell doom for it as young leaders continue to jump the sinking ship of Congress.