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Congress' Choice of Rajya Sabha Election Candidates Shows Hopelessness, Not Hope

Image for representation. (AP)

Image for representation. (AP)

Young, hardworking talent that should have been entrusted with growing the Congress in their states have been nominated for the Rajya Sabha while people who have tirelessly worked for the party have been ignored.

Anand Narasimhan
  • Last Updated: March 14, 2020, 11:28 PM IST
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The recently concluded Rajya Sabha nominations come just around the time the Congress witnessed a high profile exit – that of Jyotiraditya Scindia. Even the Congress leadership knows that he took the call because he saw no political future within party.

The Congress’ nominees for the Rajya Sabha highlight the fact that the Congress is just unwilling to look beyond dynasts, yes-people and unelectables.

Young, hardworking talent that should have been entrusted with growing the party in their respective states have been nominated for the Rajya Sabha while people who have selflessly and tirelessly worked for the party and who, despite troubled times, have been unwavering in their commitment to the party have been ignored.

Take Deepinder Hooda for example, son of Bhupinder Hooda, the former Haryana Chief Minister, who lost from his bastion of Rohtak in the Lok Sabha polls. Deepinder Hooda should ideally have been handed the reins and given a shot at resurrecting the party along with Kuldeep Bishnoi. The high command, however, decided to do away with Ashok Tanwar.

Randeep Surjewala and Kumari Shailaja are hard-working leaders who have been ignored. Many believe that the party stalwarts want a few wings clipped and a few leaders sidelined.

Meanwhile, others believe that the party just doesn’t want to look beyond a select few. Take KC Venugopal for example. A two time MP from Alappuzha, he did not contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 despite the Congress having momentum that year in Kerala.

He is now trying to enter the Upper House from Rajasthan. Why? Aren’t there any worthy Congress leaders from Rajasthan?

And why try and bring in KTS Tulsi from Chattisgarh? His only claim is that he fights a lot of the legal cases involving the Gandhi family. Can he win an election on his own? What has he done as a Congress leader?

Digvijaya Singh is a has-been. He doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the people of Madhya Pradesh who have rejected him time and again. He is one of the key reasons why Scindia left the party. Why should he be in Parliament?

A majority of the people nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Congress should actually be retiring from public life. If the Rajya Sabha is meant to promote thinkers and members of the civil society who can monitor the work of the elected representatives from the Lok Sabha, then why are Deepinder Hooda, Phulo Devi Netam or a Rajeev Satav being nominated?

It is not that other parties do not do it. They do too. But at a time when the Congress should be ensuring that hard workers and committed ‘Congressi’ are rewarded, they are still busy propping up puppets, yes-people and dynasts close to the Gandhi family.

The fulcrum of the Congress is no longer its ideology. It is the first family which itself has shown everything but leadership and vision in the last few years.

If Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit was a blow, the Rajya Sabha nominations are only going to further the dent the Congress. The message going out is that young, driven hard workers do not matter. Wise, thinking intelligentsia also do not matter till they have done their share of cosying up to the high command.

How then does the party hope to rebuild and reconnect with the people of the country? There is no change. Nothing new. No Fresh drive or purpose. It’s the same old, which the people have twice rejected.

Rather than infuse confidence and belief into the cadre that there is conscious effort to get back on the road to resurgence, the Rajya Sabha nominations suggest the ‘dekhenge, sochenge, karenge’ attitude. Not hope but hopelessness.

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  • First Published: March 14, 2020, 11:28 PM IST
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