Hyderabad: The Congress High Command seems to be faced with an Herculean task in its endeavor to rebuild a dilapidated State Congress in the wake of a growing wedge between the party organization and the State administration.
This disheartening scenario came into the open during the two-day visit of the AICC general secretary, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of the party affairs in the State, immediately after the State Congress suffered a humiliating drubbing at the hands of YSR Congress in the Kadapa by-elections.
Though Mr Azad was rushed to Hyderabad on a fact-finding mission to analyze the reasons behind the ruling party’s pathetic performance in the be-elections, he seems to have had other agenda like to assess the impact on the Congress from Jagan’s YSR Congress in the future, gather opinion among the party leaders on the contentious separate Telangana issue and so on.
During his marathon sessions with MPs, MLAs, ministers and party functionaries, including grass-root level cadre, Mr Azad was flooded with complaints against the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, for his alleged lack of political acumen and administrative capability, suspicious and autocratic nature, non-accessibility and so on.
As one political analyst pointed out that the resounding victory of Mr Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has provided the needed leverage for the ministers and legislators to give vent to their pent up intolerance at the style of functioning of the Chief Minister. Thus, Mr Azad’s durbar was fully utilized by the Congress leaders without any exception for Kiran bashing.
To his utter shock and dismay, Mr Azad found that the party leaders, be it ministers or MPs or MLAs, instead of making a self-introspection about the reasons for the party’s debacle in the by-elections and suggest various remedial measures to strengthen the party, had wanted bifurcation of the State to neutralize the Jagan factor. Impartial political pundits wonder whether division of the State would ensure revitalization of the Congress.
The AICC leader, in his mission to gauge the pulse of the party leaders on the issue of Telangana, found that the party leaders from the region seemed to be concentrating all their energies to achieve a separate State rather than strive for consolidating the party base in the region. He was also able to gauge the determination and commitment of the party leaders from Seemandhra region to oppose any move to bifurcate the State.
Some Congress leaders also seem to have openly expressed their dissatisfaction and ire to Mr Azad over the High Command’s overzealous overtures towards film actor Chiranjeevi and his Praja Rajyam party. These Congress leaders also made it clear that the fading glitz and glamour of the aging film actor would not be any help to the party but would only be liability.
Thus, as one political observer pointed out the glaring aspect that came out openly during the two-day fact finding mission of Mr Azad was that after the demise Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy the State administration has virtually become rudderless and the State Congress a rocking boat in turbulent waters. There is no denial of the fact that the High Command has to initiate certain drastic and daring measures at the earliest to save its rocking boat from sinking. (NSS)