Congress High Command Must Stop Foisting CMs

Published: 24th July 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2014 12:34 AM   |  A+A-

The rising tide of resentment against chief ministers foisted by the high command in the Congress-ruled states of Maharashtra, Assam and Haryana has a lesson for party president Sonia and her protégé and son Rahul. They must democratise decision-making in the organisation and leave the job of choosing legislative party leaders to elected representatives. The party chieftains no longer enjoy the kind of untrammelled power they did before the Lok Sabha electoral debacle. The rank and file of the party cannot be brushed aside in an autocratic manner.

Rahul has often spoken in favour of internal democracy in the party but his actions belie his statements. He must now take the promise to its logical conclusion. Chief ministers, as the party leaders in the Assemblies, should be elected by Congress legislators to allow dissidence to be funnelled into open debate and find its own cure. Only then will those enjoying genuine support win. In Assam, health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma resigned from the Tarun Gogoi ministry as the high command refused to entertain his call for a change in leadership in the state. As many as 31 legislators declared open support for him. If the party high command disregards the writing on the wall there could be further trouble for Gogoi. Succumbing to dissident pressure will only encourage indiscipline. When Gogoi was foisted as leader by the high command, had a fair election been held within the party such an eventuality wouldn’t have arisen or if it did it could have been dealt with firmly. The same goes for Maharashtra where Prithviraj Chavan was catapulted from the Centre bypassing local leaders and Haryana where Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s acceptability was not tested while imposing the will of the high command.

Instead of playing favourites, the Congress must abandon the practice of foisting a leader and heed the genuine desire of legislators and make its choice accordingly.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp