The Congress party which once governed nearly every nook and cranny of the country is suffering its worst fate ever. Leader after leader are deserting the sinking ship of Congress. But the party is yet to acknowledge their failing ways and course correct it. Umpteenth of talented leaders feel suffocated in the party and finding alternate options to save their political futures. This reflects that there is no place for talent in the grand old party. This brings us to our man of the hour Manish Tewari.
Agnipath: Reform in the right direction
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three Service Chiefs brought a major reform, Agnipath, in the recruitment process of the armed forces. Since then many disgruntled youth have taken to roads to oppose a few issues with the scheme.
Several of the opposition parties too have criticised the government regarding the implementation and features of the Agnipath Scheme. At such a turbulent time, rebel Congress leader Manish Tewari has openly come out in support of the government and the Agnipath Scheme.
Terming Agnipath Scheme a reform in the right direction, he said, “This is a reform which is much-needed and is a reform in the right direction.”
Manish Tewari made a tweet to stress on the need for reform (Agnipath Scheme) in the armed forces and clearly stated that armed forces shouldn’t be seen as an employment guarantee programme.
Manish Tewari tweeted,” I do empathise with youth who have concerns over the Agnipath recruitment Process. Reality is India needs a younger armed force with lighter human footprint savvy on technology, equipped with state of art weaponry. Armed Forces of Union shouldn’t be an employment guarantee programme.”
I do empathise with youth who have concerns over Agnipath recruitment Process.Reality is India needs a younger armed force with lighter human footprint savvy on technology, equipped with state of art weaponry. Armed forces of Union shouldn’t be an employment guarantee programme
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) June 16, 2022
Tewari further added that to transition the Armed forces, making it more agile, better equipped and to bring down pension bills such reforms are necessary. He said, “In the last three decades, most armed forces have transitioned to a very light footprint on the ground while being very heavy on technology and artillery. In such a situation, if India needs a younger force and ultimately if it requires that its pension bill also comes under manageable limits, reform is necessary”.
Regarding the cons of the Agnipath Scheme Manish Tewari said, “The glitches can be ironed out”. He also emphasised that it was important to change the paradigms framed because of the imperialist mindset. He said, “… continuing with paradigms set by imperialists for ulterior motives would be irrelevant in the 21st century”.
Contrasting stands of Congress and rebel Manish Tewari
His stand on the Agnipath scheme is a complete opposite of what Congress party has taken. Congress has opposed this scheme brought by the Modi government. It has demanded to keep it in abeyance. Congress also sermoned that the scheme should be brought only after holding wider consultations with experts and others.
Read More: Congress fights Congress in Karnataka
After his stand he had to face backlash from his own party members which reflects the lack of respect for conflicting opinions and internal party democracy within Congress. He doesn’t hesitate to publicly correct or give befitting replies to his fellow Congress leaders who do such kind of things to court the Gandhi family.
Dear @saptagiriulaka ji
You are valued colleague in Lok Sabha. However May I respectfully point out that when you may have been running around in your knickers my dear friend I was actively working for @INCIndia . I would request you to kindly refrain from these snide tweets. https://t.co/NPPc932210
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) June 17, 2022
Earlier stances of conflicts between him and the Congress party
In February this year, there were reports of him leaving the Congress party. Back then another bigwig of the party and former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar called a quit from the party membership. Many Gandhi loyalists from within the Congress for years have been hammering against Tewari.
Tewari spoke at an event on both these issues and clarified his stand. He made it clear that he was not a tenant, but rather a stakeholder in the Congress party. He talked about his 40 years of service to the party and hinted of conspiracy against him. He said I will not leave the party but if somebody throws me out then it’s a different thing.
#WATCH | "Will not leave Congress party but if someone wants to push me out (dhakke mar kar bahar nikalega) of the party that's a different thing," Congress leader Manish Tiwari (16.02) pic.twitter.com/5MHAsClCx3
— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2022
Apart from being a vocal member of the rebel G23 group, he had been critical of the party’s major decisions during the Punjab assembly elections. He openly spoke against the way the party handled several conflicts between party leaders in Punjab and ouster of veteran leader Captain Amrinder Singh. Because of this rebel nature and capability to lead, Congress feared to appoint him as a star campaigner in the then state elections. Not just at these moments but at several minor and major geopolitical decisions of the government he has taken a stand contrary to the grand old party.
No lessons learned
It has been stated by many political analysts and ex-Congress leaders that the top brass fears from capable young and proven leaders. The Gandhi family seems to fear the Party being overtaken by such talented leaders from their autocratic grips. So, there’s a ceiling up to which these leaders can grow and that is stature below the ever-young dynamic leader Rahul Gandhi.
The party didn’t give due respect to leaders like Himanta Biswa Sarma, Jagan, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sunil Jhakad among others. Hence, all the desertions of talented leaders from the party. Further there is a long list of such future possible desertions in the form of leaders of rebel group G23 and a few young disgruntled Turks like Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora.
Several stances on the issue of nationalism when Manish Tewari stood against his party’s stand suggests that he too feels suffocated in the party and fits the saying that he is a right man in the wrong party.
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