Congress' self inflict wound would prove painful

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Congress’s self-inflicted blows will prove painful

    Splitting headaches

    Congress’s self-inflicted blows will prove painful at state and national polls




    HALF a century of feuding was never going to end in a whimper. For decades the people of Telangana, an inland region of a big southern state, Andhra Pradesh (AP), have demanded their own state. On October 3rd India’s cabinet at last said they would get one: most likely before a general election due in May.

    Congress rules both nationally and in AP (with a population of 85m, more than Egypt). In July it said it would split the existing state in two. But reaction from the streets has been furious. Since the cabinet announcement, massive protests in coastal AP and a strike of 30,000 power-sector workers have shut down electricity, banks and even water supplies. Pictures of darkened hospitals, worries about babies in incubators and scenes of burning streets are spreading a sense of emergency. A curfew allows police to shoot on sight in Vizianagaram, a coastal town. Leaders of nearby states warn that the protests threaten India’s southern electricity grid.

    This all matters to Congress because AP gives it more MPs than any other state and is thus crucial to the party’s hopes of being re-elected. Congress knew the split risked political turmoil, but so would doing nothing. It expected dissatisfaction in AP, but even in Telangana support for the move now appears to be in doubt. In the 2009 general election, Congress won 33 of its 206 seats from AP. A recent poll suggests it could get ten seats or fewer, all from Telangana. “This is a very suicidal step for Congress,” says one MP.

    The mess undermines Congress’s chances of forming a government in Delhi after the next election. The Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could take advantage in Hyderabad, which will be the joint capital of the two states for ten years and which sees occasional Hindu-Muslim tension. More likely, third parties will gain, mirroring a national trend. They are unlikely to ally with Congress.

    Trouble in AP compounds the ruling party’s other, largely self-inflicted, problems. Most obviously, it now fares badly among urban voters. In 2009 it did better than expected, winning 26 more city seats than in 2004. Voters saw Manmohan Singh, the prime minister (above, centre), as a competent economic manager untainted by corruption.

    No longer. There is gloom over the economy, which is failing to create jobs. On October 8th the IMF said Indian GDP will grow by 3.8% this year, behind even sub-Saharan Africa. Congress has passed new welfare programmes, but they mostly help villagers rather than urban voters. Stuck with high inflation, the latter will blame the government for reforms not made, or carried out too late.

    As for Mr Singh, his reputation for probity is in tatters. Despite fury over many scandals, his government last month tried to ram through a law to give convicted politicians immunity, allowing them to stay in office. It also thinks a right-to-information law should not apply to political parties. In addition, Mr Singh’s staff say they have lost files that opponents claim would implicate people at the heart of government in a massive coal scam.

    Letting Mr Singh stew, Congress leaders are pushing forward Rahul Gandhi (pictured left) as an anti-corruption figure. At a press conference on September 27th, the son of Sonia Gandhi, the party chief, unexpectedly laid into Mr Singh’s immunity law for politicians. His comments caused much excitement, and the planned law was scrapped. But it exposed division and muddle at the top.

    Mr Gandhi, though, hardly looks like a leader in waiting. Since his intervention, he has not explained just how he would tackle corruption. He caused a stir mostly because it is so rare to hear the scion of the Gandhi family say anything that is not a trite generalisation.

    Mr Gandhi’s welcome action has awkward consequences for Congress. Without a law to let convicted politicians keep their seats, the party will find it harder to entice others into making alliances with it. On October 3rd a court sentenced Lalu Prasad Yadav, once Bihar’s chief minister, to five years of “rigorous imprisonment” for his part in stealing farmers’ funds in the 1990s. His party once backed Congress at national level but now looks less able—or willing—to do so again.

    The time of reckoning is fast approaching. Dates have just been set for five state assembly elections in the next two months, the last such polls before the national vote. The BJP is likely to win the bigger contests in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Congress has a narrow chance in Delhi, and in tiny Mizoram in the north-east.

    The BJP expects these polls to give its candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi (above, right), momentum in the election year. His supporters talk of a “Modi wave” soon to wash over India. The strongman from Gujarat offers leadership that is missing in Congress. Mr Modi has recently drawn big rallies in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Delhi. Urban voters and investors like him.

    Still, the BJP’s national prospects are unclear. Mr Modi is controversial, especially among Muslims, after riots in 2002 that killed over 1,000 people in Gujarat on his watch. The latest national poll, in August, showed Congress’s ruling alliance bleeding support, suggesting a loss of 122 of its 259 seats. Surprisingly, though, the poll also showed the BJP’s alliance losing a handful of seats. The Supreme Court has just ordered that ballot papers must include a “none of the above” option. That could prove popular.

    Indian politics: Splitting headaches | The Economist


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    Most lamentable.

    What a way to go for the political party that was once the hope of the nation!
     
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  3. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Can we have an article without referring 2002 and notably if not then with true numbers of casualties ?? Author lost his credibility when he tries to convince us that RaGa's act of condemning ordinance was genuine and it reflects that there's a division at the top. Please, stop this bullcrap, Congress and ultimately govt is ruled by Gandhi family, everything is planned to portray Gandhis as saints, MMS doesn't have any weight in party, xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx...

    Mod: Culled. Please don't take such liberties till the man is the Prime Minister of India.
     
  4. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    The Economist is the home of the most self righteous creeps one can find in journalism. It's the grand daddy of all the English news papers in India. They churn out one article after another 'condemning' some country or the other all the time. They even treat US and the European countries the same way. For them only Britain is the greatest country in the world and everyone else is just not good enough.
     
  5. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    it is a suicide for congress in coastal AP,not only for congress but also for its (pseudo) ally ysrcp aka jagan reddy.
    i dont really understood why they had taken this decision in front of elections.seems they are misled by politicians like digvijay and botsa now they are going to pay dearly.

    few days back a politician asked "why to split a state which is strong hold of congress which gave majority mp seats from single state?"i still don't see political advantage what congress is seeing.

    trs head kcr is an opportunist,forget about merging with congress and may be he will ally to bjp siding congress if bjp is near to magic figure in parliament.

    old proverb "vinashakale viparita buddihi"


    after realising the grave mistake what they have done,seeing such massive negative response from AP and other national leaders to injustice done by congress to the state,they formed a GOM to study the division of water and resources in between the states.

    they should have done it on the first day itself.now congress is the villain in both state and center.

    seeing the AP saga i would like to add a point,digvijay singh is sakuni of gandhi empire.his presence near rahul is good enough for entire destruction of gandhi race in INDIA.wish i could see it early

    regarding other states ,situation is not all promising for congress .in rajasthan few days back rahul gandhi asked the audience in a sabha to clap for his speech:toilet:
    Rahul Gandhi asks people to clap for him as chattering crowd of a few hundreds drown his voice at Rampur rally - daily.bhaskar.com

    sure with a leader like rahul congress will have poor chance to survive long.

    all the people attracting policies of food security bill,etc are only to appease public in front of elections because they themselves know that without them they wont will.

    election commission should restrict political parties to announce such decisions atleast 6 months in front of elections.

    in MIZORAM why is BJP not trying to enter mizoram?congress is literally winning there with landslide victory
     
  6. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    rahul gandhis over action regarding condemning ordinance didn't work out well instead it backfired i should say.now its difficult for congress to get help from laloo in bihar.even people didn't give much importance to this....
     
  7. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Congress is not going to bifurcate AP.Remember congress said burfication would happen but no time frame so they just wanted to prolong hoping to win in both region
     
  8. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    With Bifurcation their leverage ends. They won't bifurcate before 2014 Elections.
     
  9. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    they will,and before 2014 general elections bill will be passed.if not they wont get one seat even in telangana
     

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