More Than Ever, India Needs A Functioning OppositionAugust 7, 2019
Seemingly in the clutches of a terminal leadership crisis, the Congress party seems dazed and confused as it deals with the Modi government’s bold decision to revoke special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and turn the state into two union territories.
It took a whole day for ex-Congress president Rahul Gandhi to tweet a reaction critical of the BJP government; he said the Constitution was being torn to shreds.
The Congress was left red-faced in the Lok Sabha when its leader of the house Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tied himself in knots by questioning, “If Indira Gandhi did the Simla agreement and Vajpayee did the Lahore agreement, then how is Article 370 an internal issue?”
A combative Amit Shah, Union Home Minister who has led the Kashmir gambit, immediately seized the comment and demanded to know if “that was the Congress’s official position”.
Chowdhary fumbled and left Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, both present in the House, looking upset at the self-goal.
Worse was to come as verbose Congress MP Manish Tewari offered a laboured comparison of the move to the soft-porn bestseller “Fifty Shades Of Grey”. How this made any sense only Tewari knew.
Meanwhile, a mini-revolt has started in the party which has been in crisis since May 25, when Gandhi quit as president. Yesterday, Bhubaneswar Kalita, handpicked by Sonia Gandhi as chief whip, resigned saying he could not carry out the party’s whip as it was against the people’s wishes.
Several young Turks from states that will vote in less than three months have veered off the party line.