In the midst of Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, differences between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and alleged aspirant for the post Sachin Pilot have come to the fore, and the alleged non-compliance of the Congress in the Gujarat assembly elections. Many questions are also being raised regarding the presence. In this regard, five questions and answers from ‘Language’ to Sanjay Kumar, co-director of the research program ‘Lokniti’ of ‘Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)’:
Question: Congress is doing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ but in the meanwhile differences in the government led by it in Rajasthan have come to the fore. In such a situation, serious questions are being raised on this visit. your opinion?
answer: Congress is doing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ but it is more important for it to take out ‘Congress Jodo Yatra’. It is more important for the Congress to at least deal with all the differences that are there within the Congress and which keep emerging from time to time. I believe that ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is also necessary but the truth is that ‘Congress Jodo Yatra’ is also needed. This does not mean to say that differences and differences of opinion do not exist within other parties. Such differences are generally considered a healthy sign of internal party democracy, but cannot be cited repeatedly for “serious differences” or brushed off as an excuse. The crisis facing the Congress in Rajasthan is not good for it as it has been going on for a long time. By postponing it, the party is at a loss. The party should think seriously about this and find a way how to deal with such ‘differences’.
Question: The question arises whether leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Sachin Pilot do not get importance in the main opposition party of the country?
answer: I do not feel that Congress does not give importance to leaders like Shashi Tharoor or Sachin Pilot. If you are referring to the discussions about the isolation of Shashi Tharoor for contesting the election for the post of Congress President, then I do not agree with it. Tharoor’s participation in the process of electing the Congress President does not lead me to conclude that he is not important in the party. In that election, the party leaders felt that Mallikarjun Kharge, not Tharoor, was needed as the president at this time. As far as Pilot’s claim for the post of Chief Minister of Rajasthan is concerned, it is for the MLAs to decide in which leader they have faith. At present, his support is with Ashok Gehlot and Pilot is not his choice.
Question: Elections are also being held in Gujarat amid the Congress’s “journey” and its internal differences, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have put in full force and the Congress is missing?
answer: The success and failure of any party in the elections will decide the results. But from the situation which is visible now, it seems that Congress is very weak and Aam Aadmi Party is contesting elections strongly for the first time in Gujarat. The way in which AAP has kept its firepower there, it is clearly visible that Congress has made a mistake somewhere. If the Congress had to fight the Gujarat elections with full vigor, then it should have started the campaign well in advance and its big leaders should have been touring continuously. AAP has been successful in this matter and it seems to be giving a tough fight to the BJP.
Question: Can the timing of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ prove to be a strategic mistake of the Congress? What is your assessment as a political expert?
answer: If Rahul Gandhi has set out on ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, then it is not appropriate to expect that all the Congress leaders should be busy in this. This would not be the right strategy either. It is expected that all the senior leaders of the state through which the yatra passes will be involved. The responsible leaders of the party should continue to fulfill their respective roles. Rest, the election results will decide the success and failure of the strategy.
Question: This visit of Congress has also got the support of many opposition parties. Will it prove helpful in uniting the opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections?
answer: This visit has nothing to do with opposition unity. And according to me, neither the Congress is making any such expectation. It would be a mistake of the Congress to make any such expectation. As far as it is supported by anti-BJP parties, it is just an issue based support that the country needs to unite. Opposition unity is a wider issue. It will be clear before the elections.
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