With Punjab unsettled, Chhattisgarh spells trouble for Congress; BJP eyes mileage.


New Delhi: Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi, who is trying to unite Opposition against the Modi government, is finding it tough to keep her own party intact. Decisions taken by Raul Gandhi are adding to her problems. Now, even her intervention in party matters is not making any positive impact.

As a result, 135-year-old Congress is now passing through the worst ever phase since its inception. Rahul Gandhi and his team members are making wrong decisions. Their decision to appoint Navjot Singh Sidhu resulted in a controversy in the Punjab Congress unit. Now, the Chhattisgarh Congress is in trouble. A massive infighting is likely to break out in the Congress in Chhattisgarh, with the BJP planning to cash in on it. The high command does not seem to have learnt its lessons from what happened in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Another aspect of the entire development is that the Opposition parties are not ready to rely on Congress owing to such internal decisions taken by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. This is the situation when assembly elections in crucial states like UP are just six months away, and the race for 2024 Lok Sabha polls will also begin thereafter.

Sonia Gandhi and other veterans have realized the problem but Rahul Gandhi and Priaynka Gandhi Vadra are apparently ignorant of this. Even as meetings took place for solving Punjab problems, Rahul and Priyanka had made up their mind for Navjot as PCC chief. They also got Sonia’s approval for that. With assembly elections just six months away, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu are at loggerheads. After Punjab in charge Harish Rawat’s suggestion to remove the advisor Prashant Kishor, Sidhu started spitting venom against the high command. As a result of internal war, Kishor quit as advisor to CM. Now Rawat wants to get rid of the Punjab charge. Congress has projected him as CM face in Uttarakhand. Rawat, who was trying to solve the problem of faction fighting in Punjab, is himself facing groupism and leading a separate camp in Uttarakhand.

The Punjab situation has come to such a pass that even Sonia Gandhi won’t be able to normalize it. Similarly, Rahul Gandhi tried to implement his formula in Chhattisgarh, following which a fight began between CM Bhupesh Baghel and senior minister TS Singh Deo. The problem dates back to 2018 when Rahul had set the formula of “two-and-a-half years” for rotation of chief ministers.

When the second half of the term began, Rahul Gandhi reminded Baghel of the formula. But Baghel was ready with MLAs supporting him. All the legislators supporting Baghel reached Delhi and created pressure on the high command in favour of the incumbent CM. So, Rahul Gandhi invited this trouble, as now Baghel managed to save his seat, but the internal war will come out in open in Chhattisgarh.

The Punjab situation may be seen in Chhattisgarh as well. T.S. Singh Deo is said to have told the high command that if he cannot be made CM then Baghel should also not remain on the top post. Charan Das Mahant was expected to corner the top post amid the fight.

Similarly, Rajasthan is also witnessing infighting in the Congress. Though politically experienced leader Ashok Gehlot has managed to avert a big crisis, such infighting in Congress ruled states may damage the party’s prospects. What is worth mentioning is that there is no fear of high command visible in states. The youth leaders are dejected due to a series of electoral defeats.

They are hoping to get organizational posts. But Rahul Gandhi is not paying any attention to them. There is no Congress office-bearer in Gujarat where elections are to be held next year. All of them have resigned. The situation in UP is no secret. There are two major groups in Congress in Haryana. Like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi is also in the habit of postponing decisions.