Congress party leaders have found fault with Defence Minister A K Antony’s apparent political and administrative ineptitude for the delay in release of the party manifesto for the upcoming LS elections.
AICC department heads, who gave inputs to the manifesto, complain about not being called by Antony for discussion. “We were never called. We just don’t know what is being included and what is not. He never bothered to keep us in the loop,” says one of them. Many, like him, are of the view that Antony has “made a total mess” of his political duties as “too much was put on his plate” even when “the work could have been delegated”.
The delay has been bothersome, says another upset senior leader, “as it happened at a time when TV and print media are filled with heated debates around the policy orientations” of the BJP and its new critics like AAP. The latter has feistily swung into the space abdicated by the Congress.
But the accusations are not limited to manifesto making. Antony was in charge of alliances. One quick look across the country shows the scoreline there. Leave aside catching new converts, the old faithful too shunned the party. The DMK decided it was best to cast itself adrift in the open sea of alliances. This was a party on whose behalf the UPA has copped much of its 2G ignominy, says a Congress leader from a southern State.
Not to mention how smaller parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMDK, were driven to the BJP’s waiting arms thanks to the ‘indecision’ on the deal he wanted. Not to mention what happened in Bihar.
The TRS, which had even promised to merge with the GoP if the script had gone well, too is ploughing a separate furrow, taking the patent for creating Telangana with it. How much credit Congress can wrest remains to be seen.