November 12
20:13 2019

“For a political party to exist is to choose. But to choose well, it must know what it is and what it stands for, where it wants to go and why it wants to get there.”There is a saying that the drowning man is not troubled by the rain.

But, the axiom appears to be conflicting the present dilemma of Congress leadership is in vis-a-vis its role in the ongoing political Drama in Maharastra.

“Asli kaam tho who karthe hai saab, hum tho bas”( Actual work is done by them, Sir, We are just), says a woman constable character, in the Bollywood movie “Special 26”.

The dialogue aptly fits in the context of Congress’ Hamilton dilemma in the ongoing political Drama in Maharastra where the BJP, despite being unable to form government is still pulling the strings, while the Congress plays “We are just” role. The Maharastra political situation offered an opportunity for the Congress to do a BJP, that is form the government, even if you have no numbers, even if it means destroying constitutional principles.

The Grand old party which has been caught in a political whirlpool, since its rout in 2014, has once again failed to grab only possible straw it can catch to stay afloat in Maharashtra – That’s support Shiv Sena-NCP from out side support to help them to form the government. If it had to do what BJP did to it in several other states, Maharashtra was a situation of no choice.

This Hamilton dilemma of the party on whether to support Shiv Sena reminds me of a famous ghazal: Aaj aane ki zid na karo (Don’t insist on coming today). The original ghazal was an appeal to the beloved for not leaving, but in the context of supporting Shiv Sena to keep the BJP out of power, “Aaj aane ki” is exact opposite, manifesting, let us not grab the chance.

It would have been better for it both for the benefit of its MLAs and for its own good in Maharastra , it should have supported SS-NCP coalition with the out side support. No doubt, The idea of Congress propping up a Shiv Sena government may sound bizarre to many, given the fact that the latter’s ideology is anathema for the grand old party. The Congress leadership should understand that in the era of opportunistic politics, ideological grand standing would take it nowhere. It should realise that mid term polls, if any, could be nightmare for cash-starved state MLAs, who fought and won elections with no support from 10, Janpath.

Thus, , a cash-starved Congress must avoid a cost-intensive mid-term election in a hectic year with forth coming key battles like Delhi and Jharkhand Assembly polls. It should also realise that also seized with the fact that the failure to form the new government will lead to imposition of the President’s rule, which means the power will remain vested with the BJP government at the Centre till the next elections. The Congress also has to judge whether another election in less than a year will benefit it more than the BJP, given BJP’s track record in destroying constitutional principles of governance. It should recall how the BJP has used its governors in Goa and Meghalaya to violated the ‘largest party norm’ to form governments.

Now, the stalemate in Maharashtra has given the BJP another opportunity to play fast and loose with principles. By displaying the Hamilton’s Dilemma, the Grand Old party seems to be lost its ability to succeed in this murky world of politics where it takes much more than some ludicrous ideas, however well-meaning they may be, and confused idealism to get ahead in race.

Congress seems to be full of eternal optimists for they believe that its ideological grand standing of keeping a Right wing SS would keep its secular credentials in tact and keep its minority voters in good humour. The present developments in Maharastra indicate that the party leadership has not shown any signs of grabbing the opportunity to pay the BJP in its own coin. It has looked like a imitator acting on the advice of incompetent advisors.

Democratic country like India needs Congress to survive for whatever reasons of polity, but such dilemma to grab the opportunity would take it nowhere.


photo courtesy : Google images

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