Last five years have been full of complexities for Congress, as it did not succeed in creating a positive environment in its favour. It’s only because of the absence of strong leadership and its flip-flop on sharing power with regional parties. Most recently, after 21 years, Mamata Banerjee-led TMC removed ‘Congress’ from its logo, which is enough to point out the irritation among regional parties against the Congress. If we look at the last five years of the Congress, there are many factors behind the downward journey of the party.
On February 9, 2016, a controversial protest was held in JNU by ex-members of The Democratic Student Union (DSU) against the hanging of 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat. In this protest, anti-India slogans were raised. Even the Delhi Police in its charge sheet, submitted at Patiala House Court, said that anti-India slogans were raised in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus. When nationwide protest erupted against these slogans, Congress President Rahul Gandhi along with other leaders visited JNU, where he said that most anti-national are people, who are suppressing the voice of students in JNU. “Government will not understand that in crushing you, they are making you stronger,” he further added.
Therefore, it is evident that Congress President’s visit to JNU was only to get support of anti-Modi voices. It does not matter how seditious it was.
In the wake of February 14, 2019 Pulwama attack–where 44 CRPF personnel were martyred when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into one of 78 CRPF vehicles carrying 2500 personals–India Air Force bombed terrorist camps in Balakot, Pakistan. Unfortunately, Congress leaders such as Kapil Sibal, Digvijay Singh and Sam Pitroda questioned the air strikes. Kapil Sibal in his tweet quoted international media and said that New York Times, London-based Jane’s Information Group, Washinton Post, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Reuters are reporting no proof of militant losses at Balakot. Are they pro-Pakistan? You (Modi) are guilty of politicising terror.
Digvijay Singh asked the government to present evidence of the Indian Air Force’s strike. “I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps. But pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way the United States government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world,” he said.
Sam Pitroda, the Indian Overseas Congress chief, in an interview to ANI said, “I would like to know more as I have read in New York Times and other newspapers, what did we really attack, we really killed 300 people?”
However, it is important to mention that Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, Spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces had himself conceded that Indian Air force did bomb Balakot. Therefore, there was no need to ask for any evidence as it was already confessed by the Pakistan Military. Now the question arises: Should Congress have questioned Balakot issue? No, but it did because it thought it would lose perception battle as it didn’t give befitting reply to Pakistan when 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists and it thought Balakot might benefit BJP in Lok Sabha elections.
Recently, Modi government in its interim budget announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), through which 120 million small and marginal Indian farmers who have less than 2 hectares (4.9 acres) of land will get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support. This initiative by the government was to tackle farm distress. This was opposed by Congress party and except Punjab, no Congress-ruled state has implemented this scheme. “Today is the ‘Cash for Vote’ day. The BJP government will officially give a bribe of Rs 2000 per agricultural family to get their votes,” former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Twitter. However, on March 25, 2019, Congress President Rahul Gandhi announced that if his party comes to power, it will provide Rs 72,000 per annum.
“Today is a historic day. It is on this day that the Congress party launched its final assault on poverty. Five crore of the poorest families in India will receive Rs. 72,000 per year. Nyay For India is our dream & our pledge. The time for change has come.” Rahul said. However, he didn’t clarify how will such a huge amount–more than 3 lakh crore per annum–be distributed. The truth is that Congress wants MGNREGA like scheme to win the election.
Wasn’t it an unofficial bribe? But Congress did it because it needed a plan which would easily tackle Modi’s PM-KISAN scheme.
In the last five years, Congress has allegedly targeted BJP on playing caste-based politics. But the same Congress accepted Hardik Patel who demanded reservation for Patidar community and projected himself as an anti-Modi face in Gujarat. Not only this, Priyanka Gandhi, who officially joined Congress and was appointed as party general secretary a few months back, recently met controversial Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Now the question arises: Who is dividing the society? Were Patel agitation by Hardik and so-called Dalit agitation by Chandrashekhar planned and executed by Congress only to target Modi?
On Triple Talq Bill also, the Congress didn’t cooperate with the Modi government and the bill was stalled in the Rajya Sabha. Most importantly, even the Supreme Court had “set aside” the centuries-old practice and suggested the government to bring proper legislation to save Muslim women. Therefore, it is worthwhile asking: Is the Congress party only for Muslim men? Where is equality for all in the Congress?
By Ravi Mishra