Rethinking in the Congress

Rethinking in the Congress
Forming strategy for 2014
Notwithstanding the recent brouhaha seen at the Congress ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Jaipur, with even Rahul Gandhi criticising the manner in which outsiders were being propped up in key and significant positions while loyal Congressmen were being ignored, party leaders appear to have side-stepped the issue for the moment. Thus, the party handpicked Madhusudan Mistry to look into reports submitted by 42 observers that it had selected to prepare candidate profiles, collect data and other relevant information right down to the block level for elections 2014. Mistry, who is from Gujarat, where he was known for his proximity to Shankersinh Vaghela, was clearly covering his back when he rejected a proposal from some leaders that those joining the party from other political outfits should not be given any top posts for at least three years nor should they ask for them. His response drew a sharp rebuttal from another AICC member who said that they did not need to learn from those who came in from the RSS. Mistry today sits in the AICC where he is in charge of key States like Kerala and Karnataka. And Mistry is not alone. Others from outside the party who have climbed up the ladder include Beni Prasad Verma, Rashid Masood and Raj Babbar. Today, Mistry is busy going over the observer reports. The Congress Party had allocated 10 Lok Sabha constituencies to each observer, who was armed with a heavy duty proforma, which sought detailed information about each constituency. From every block, the observer had to bring back at least 10 names for the Congress Party’s database. Along with this, he/she had to compile the caste composition of the constituency, who were its strong leaders, the candidates from the opposition and who had won from this seat in the past. The observers were either MLAs, MLCs or former MLAs, and they were from different states. For example, one of the four victorious Congress MLAs from Bihar, Dr Javed, who won from Kishangarh with just 250 votes, was made an observer for 10 UP Lok Sabha seats. The observers held meetings in every zilla and were naturally avidly wooed by all ticket hopefuls. They were feted and looked after by ministers, who wanted a favourable report. Sources say that while the idea was for these observers to silently do their work, it is probably in keeping with what the Congress Party is known for that they made clear the reasons for their presence and in the process attracted all obliging partymen. g…Read More

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gfiles is the country's first independent magazine written, designed and produced for India's civil services—the vast and formidable network of bureaucracies and public sector organisations that provides continuity and stability to this nation's governance.
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