NEW DELHI: Infighting, leadership issues and disgruntled leaders — these are seemingly the most challenging time for the Congress as it observes the 137th foundation day Tuesday.
With trouble brewing in almost every state and recent defections, all eyes are on the five Assembly elections that according to several leaders would be important to decide the party’s future. A win in 2-3 states would set the stage for smooth takeover of Rahul Gandhi as party president next year.
Some party insiders warn that lose in Punjab and Goa will lead to more exits both in state -and national-level. The party has good chances to form government in Uttarakhand, but the recent infighting is a cause of concern for the central leadership.
“The elections in five states are important. With the recent bickering among leaders in several states and exit of leaders have hit the morale of workers. Win in some states is very important. There is a buzz about the party disintegrating post election results but we will see churning and that is an ongoing process,” said a senior functionary.
The party high command is also worried over arm-twisting by party satraps and senior leaders. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has been conveniently ignoring its directions and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat went public with his anger.
In Parliament, there were several instances where MPs repeatedly defied party whip and nothing could be done about it. Even during the passage of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, many MPs decided to skip the proceedings.
“There is weakening of the high command’s grip and that is visible in recent public outrage by some leaders who have defied directives that issues should be shared at the party forum rather than going public with their grievances,” said another party leader.