Congress: ‘Baba’ worship when street is hot


Photo credit Twitter Randeep Singh Surjewala

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By Manish Anand

The Congress deserves to go into oblivion.

For three days, the Congress leaders have sought to suggest that its high command, the Gandhis, shouldn’t be touched by the rule of law. This is nothing short of bankruptcy of leadership, ideas, and overall understanding of the people.

While the Congress leaders were busy in boarding buses, hitting streets, the youth across the country was busy finding the meaning of the Agnipath scheme of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.

The youth had to bank on the opinions of their relatives who may have served or serving the Armed forces to understand the intent of the scheme.

Neither the Congress leaders nor any of their peers in the Opposition ranks came forth to explain why the youth should be wary of the new plan of the government to recruit (hire) 46000 youth this year on a four-year contract, and let go 75 per cent of them by handing over a paycheck of Rs 11 lakh.

The Opposition leaders were busy in fine-tuning their strategies for the Presidential election. The Trinamool Congress supremo and the West Bengal Chief Minister had taken the lead in calling a joint meeting of the Opposition parties, not attended by two usual suspects the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Telangana Rashtra party (TRS).

For the Opposition parties, their priority was stealing the show in the Presidential election limelight.

On Thursday, the Congress leaders and the Opposition parties saw that the youth had hit the street, and some of them had even set a few train bogeys on fire.

The youth in Bihar first took the lead to hit the street against the Agnipath scheme. The chain-reaction set off, with the youth in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and so on taking the street to make their anger clear that they don’t want ‘Theka wala’ job in the military services for four years. They want the jobs in the army the way their brothers, uncles, fathers had in the past that when they retired they came home with dignity with social and financial security.

The youth of the country is angrier because they have seen the fate of their elders who are being exploited at their workplaces in the name of contractual employments while the labour laws have become pieces of papers on which the employers can spit with impunity.

What was the Congress doing in the last 24-hour that the party leaders didn’t know the pulse of the youth would remain a baffling question. This shows that the Congress is politically dead, and it truly wakes up only during elections, dreaming that the people would give them the keys to power just because their top leaders have Gandhi as their surnames.

By holding protests against the questioning of its former president Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leaders have shown that they’re blinded by the disease of sycophancy. Such ailing people cannot help give voice to the people.

Scores of political leaders have faced questioning by the investigative agencies in the past. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for hours in Ahmedabad when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power at the Centre.

If the Congress leaders have short memory, they can rewind to know that during 1990s the investigative agencies went knocking to most of the senior leaders of the political parties, but their followers didn’t take to the street to protest.

The laws under which Rahul Gandhi is being questioned have evolved over the years with the Parliamentary debate and experiences during the UPA and the NDA governments.

Hundreds of citizens are summoned by the investigative agencies and treated woefully even if they haven’t committed any wrongs in all parts of the country, but they never find empathy from the political class.

Why should there be an outcry if Rahul Gandhi has to appear before the ED?

If the judiciary has taken note of the business dealings in which he had been involved, it’s his duty to come clean if there are allegations of financial impropriety.

The National Herald newspaper died decades ago even while the properties owned by it filled the coffers of the people who were associated with the management. Shouldn’t Rahul Gandhi tell what happened to the money earned from the commercial rentals from the properties of National Herald across the country, including Central Delhi, while the journalists who worked there are spending their old days in abject poverty?

The largest people-led protest in the country in the recent years was against the farm laws. The Congress and the Opposition parties had no contributions to building pressure on the government to take back those contentious farm laws.

The agitation against the Agnipath scheme has flared up across the country spontaneously and the youth haven’t seen any of the opposition parties helping them understand the issue.

In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that all political parties are complicit in promoting contractual employments without adhering to even basic norms mentioned in the enabling laws, including in the states ruled by the opposition parties. That makes the late awakening of the opposition parties to the ‘pitfalls’ of the Agnipath scheme hypocritical.

The Congress for eight years is without the status of the opposition party in the Lok Sabha. Similar fate is awaiting the party in the Rajya Sabha.

After sometime, the party if it stays the same course may lapse into oblivion, and there would be no regrets.

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