Just like the BJP, the Congress too simply concluded a conclave of its senior leaders referred to as ‘Chintan Shivir’— coincidentally additionally in Rajasthan, at Udaipur

GhoseSpot | A tale of two Shivirs: How BJP is setting agenda for 25 years, but Congress is busy sorting family issues

Whereas BJP is focussed on its political battles forward, the Congress appears distracted as compared. Reuters

Chatting with the nationwide govt of the BJP assembled at Jaipur over video, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the leaders to not deviate from the event agenda getting embroiled within the Opposition’s politics of distraction. “Some political events hold searching for small incidents of tensions to inject poison for his or her egocentric pursuits”, he cautioned the delegates. He additionally alluded to the language debate saying, in each Indian language, the BJP sees reflection of ‘Bharatiyata’. We respect each language and I belief each citizen of this nation,” Modi added.

That is ironic as a result of these are the very points on which Opposition events goal the current BJP authorities. They accuse the BJP of dividing the nation by the traces of caste and faith. The allegation of Hindi imposition has been revived and added to the checklist. Critics of the Modi authorities see these makes an attempt as deflecting consideration from extra urgent problems with the financial system, inflation and unemployment. Rising majoritarianism, going in opposition to the grain of pluralism that characterised India is a typical chorus amongst sections of the intelligentsia. In a polarised polity, one would consider both model relying on which finish of the spectrum the individual stands.

GhoseSpot  A tale of two Shivirs How BJP is setting agenda for 25 years but Congress is busy sorting family issues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses BJP’s nationwide workplace bearers’ assembly in Jaipur by way of video conferencing. Twitter/BJP4India

Just like the BJP, the Congress too simply concluded a conclave of its senior leaders referred to as “Chintan Shivir” — coincidentally additionally in Rajasthan, at Udaipur. The deliberations had been on predictable traces as delineated above — with the singular goal of ousting the BJP from energy. Although the ostensible objective was to infuse new power and a way of course among the many rank and file, the obvious goal was to reassert the authority of the Gandhi household on the celebration and place Rahul Gandhi for re-election as Congress president later within the yr. Once more, no surprises there.

Rahul Gandhi introduced a plan for enterprise a “Yatra” from Kashmir to Kanyakumari subsequent yr within the run as much as the Lok Sabha elections of 2024 — however the issue lies within the absence of a highway map for the celebration. Distinction it with the digital tackle of the prime minister, when he talked of setting BJP’s aim for the following 25 years. This was not hole rhetoric. As Prime Minister Modi himself recalled, from the time publish dissolution of the Jan Sangh, when BJP was nearly relegated to political irrelevance it has come an extended solution to have greater than 1,300 MLAs, 400 MPs and over 100 Rajya Sabha members.

Throughout the identical interval, the Congress had no coherent long-term technique besides to maintain the Gandhi household on the helm of affairs. To make sure that no trade-offs had been off the desk. So, be it having a PV Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister for an interim interval to steer the celebration by way of troubled waters and unceremoniously jettisoning him later, stitching up alliances indiscriminately, hanging offers (as with the Samajwadi Get together for the Nuclear Deal) or turning a blind eye to scams every little thing was kosher. One could argue Congress as a celebration become a household enterprise and misplaced its bigger sense of objective, apart from to cling on to energy at any price.


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To be life like it’s unattainable to conceive of a Congress at the moment with out the Gandhis. Therefore, speak of a management change is simply “time-pass” to make use of a Mumbai expression. This was amply demonstrated by the deafening silence of the much-hyped G23 cohort in Udaipur. Nevertheless, to make sure its long run future the Gandhis must reinvent its raison d’etre going past the dual goal of dynastic management and dislodging the BJP.

Essentially the most trenchant critique of the Congress got here from the 2 deserters of the celebration — Sunil Jakhar and Hardik Patel. Whereas Jakhar talked of the imperious angle of the excessive command and impulsive selections based mostly on incorrect recommendation, Patel questioned the absence of an alternate imaginative and prescient to combat the BJP as a substitute of recurring criticism. Nevertheless, the sharpest response got here from HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular), who took umbrage at Rahul Gandhi’s comment about regional events missing the ideological moorings to tackle the BJP. This comes as an unkind reduce at a time when the Congress itself appears to have misplaced its means.

To be honest there could also be some benefit within the cost in opposition to the BJP for conflating various disparate causes strung collectively by the thread of Hindu resurgence. These vary from carrying of hijab, promoting of halal meat, Ram Navami processions, use of loudspeaker at mosques to the latest Gyanvapi mosque controversy. However with its ambivalent angle in the direction of Hindu sentiments the Congress walks right into a minefield.

Even on issues of the financial system, Rahul Gandhi tries to make his level by way of social media typically utilizing analogies that fail to seize the creativeness of the widespread man. The newest one being evaluating India’s situation with Sri Lanka. Congress wants to know that if certainly the state of affairs on the bottom is so dire then no quantity of diversionary ways can quell the resentment on the bottom. It has to select points thoughtfully and talk in a fashion that resonates with the plenty.

GhoseSpot  A tale of two Shivirs How BJP is setting agenda for 25 years but Congress is busy sorting family issues

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur on Friday. Picture Courtesy @INCIndia/Twitter

The BJP, then again, is rather more centered. In his tackle to the Jaipur gathering, the prime minister urged leaders to succeed in out to each beneficiary of presidency schemes. His clear message to them was there isn’t any time to relaxation, “We have to work on spreading politics of improvement in all places. Be it any political celebration, we have to stress them to observe — willingly or unwillingly — the politics of improvement. We’ve got introduced it into the mainstream of politics. Everybody wants to speak of improvement in polls now”.

So at current – if anybody is distracted – it’s the Congress for certain.

The writer is a present affairs commentator, marketer, blogger and management coach, who tweets at @SandipGhose. Views expressed are private.

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