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Is Congress becoming an organisation incapable of self-correction?

The Congress panel led by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan examining the reasons behind the party’s poor performances in the recently concluded assembly elections have highlighted infighting and weak organisational structure as the major culprits. Essentially, the party is left staring at the need for a massive overhaul right from the AlCC nerve centre in Delhi through to all state units and down to the booth level.

Congress has postponed the restructuring till the Covid pandemic settles. It is over nine months since a group of 23 leaders raised the banner of revolt against Sonia Gandhi continuing as interim president. But Rahul Gandhi’s diffidence in taking over as party president or indicating his preference or future course of action hasn’t helped.

In the state units, fearing splits, Congress has shied away from holding organisational elections and has preferred to rely on nominating office-bearers based on factional strength or high command preferences. Unlike cadre-based parties which function in a state of permanent mobilisation, Congress, which calls itself a mass-based party, has witnessed its organisation wither away as promising netas lost hope in rising up the party ranks without patronage from above.

Meanwhile, BJP has undertaken a review of the Uttar Pradesh government’s performance during the Covid second wave amid reports of discontent. BJP president JP Nadda has also directed party leaders to take Covid relief activities to one lakh villages as part of the Modi government’s seventh anniversary.

Recently, Rahul Gandhi’s press conference after several months hardly gained any traction even as Mamata Banerjee’s national profile rises. But Congress remains the only party with a national presence, and unless it can get its act right, BJP can continue to flag the TINA factor of no other viable national alternative to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah diarchy.

Read also: Congress performance in assembly elections disappointing, says Sonia Gandhi



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