Congress’ 83rd plenary session Only Nehru-Gandhi Family Reigns Supreme
A challenge to the opposition parties, particularly to BJP, an alert to the government and Congress ministers and an appeal to the party workers—this is the essence of the 83rd plenary session of the Indian National Congress, which was held in the national capital Delhi on December 18-20, 2010. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was looking more confident, more focused and more offensive on all fronts. She challenged the opposition on corruption issue, alerted the UPA government and Congress minister to be sensitive towards the Congress organisation and made an appeal to the party workers to strengthen the organisation as well as government. She started her speech in Hindi and continued it in English and Hindi both. She proved herself as the supreme leader of the Congress by scolding both the government and organisation at the same time.
The Congress president hit hard on the opposition on corruption as well as secularism. She avoided to use the term “Hindu Terrorism” and also to name the Sangh Parivar, but deliberately mentioned that terror was also initiated by the majority. She said, “The Congress party makes no distinction between organisations of the majority and the minority communities who indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism.” But, very surprisingly, neither Sonia nor Rahul touched the issue of so-called Hindu or Saffron terror. Sonia Gandhi summed it up in only one sentence and Rahul didn’t even bother to touch the issue. However her commanders were more aggressive, particularly sssparty’s general secretary Digvijay Singh. He not only charged the RSS and VHP for their said indulgence in terror activities but he also floated a question as to why all the terrorists from majority community were members of RSS.
DIGVIJAY RAPS RSS, BJP
In the political resolution passed at the plenary session, the Congress took a serious note of religious fundamentalist organisations, challenging the security of the country. Seconding the political resolution, party’s general secretary Digvijay Singh attacked the RSS one step further, comparing its attitude towards Muslims with that of Nazis towards Jews. He said: “The way in the `30s, Hitler’s Nazi Party targeted Jews under the cover of nationalism; the RSS is targeting Muslims under the cover of nationalism.” He also alleged that the RSS is instilling a sense of violence and hatred in the heart of next generation through Shishu Mandirs and it is a matter of serious concern that supporters of RSS have entered the bureaucracy, the police, the judiciary and the Army. He further said that Hindu-Muslim divide started after the BJP leader LK Advani’s rath yatra. He also accused RSS of the murder of Sunil Joshi, who is said to be involved in several terror acts.
Every time the Congress is in trouble, it makes futile attempts to level various allegations against the Sangh. Congress has always resorted to communal politics for bagging minority votes. RSS neither subscribes nor supports violent and terror activities in any form. When investigation into certain terror cases referred to by the Congress leaders is still on, and the judicial process is yet to start, the allegations levelled against the Sangh are akin to interfering with the investigation and the judicial process.
Suresh Joshi, Sarkaryavah, RSS
The importance of Digvijay Singh has waned even in his own party, so why do we give him any significance? We can see in the case of his statement on Hemant Karkare’s death, he was isolated by his own party co-workers. Congress didn’t support him at all on that issue. The wife of Hemant Karkare also denied his charges on Hindu organisations.
Uma Bharti, Ex-CM, Madhya Pradesh
Digvijay Singh has linked terror act with Hindus. Congress also has too many Hindu leaders. So they also are charged by this allegation. They have to ask their leader about it. As much as Hindu and saffron are concerned, these two words are related to social harmony, world humanity, salvation etc. Therefore linking these to terror is itself a big crime and a sinful act.
Indresh Kumar, Senior RSS Leader
Sonia Gandhi made some clear-cut statements about the organisation. First of all, she emphasised that party has to work on the line of corporate culture. She emphasised the need of Chintan Shivir and said that similar conclaves will be held. Further emphasising the need of encouraging the youth brigade, she said, “Grand old party the Congress may be, but it must be more than a party of age and experience. It must also be a party of youthful energy and vitality. We therefore welcome the entry of more and more young people into our ranks.” This statement made it clear that Rahul Gandhi, who is already given a free hand to build his young brigade in the party, may be given more opportunities to build the working committee at national and state levels.
Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh both attacked the opposition on corruption issue. Though, they made it clear that all corrupt people—whether they are politicians or bureaucrats—will be punished, they failed to justify their constant denial of the demand of JPC. PM charged the opposition for not letting the Parliament function, and he also offered himself to appear before the Public Account Committee. However, he was unable to make it clear as to why JPC was not constituted. All senior leaders tried to avoid the question saying that when PAC and CBI are already investigating, then what will be inspected by JPC? When Digvijay Singh was asked if there is nothing important in JPC, then why they haven’t formed it so that Parliament could function, he simply ignored it. However, one senior Congress MP accepted that Congress fears that the opposition will question PM in the JPC. He said that if JPC is formed then the opposition could do regular press briefings and could float questions, which will be a very difficult situation for the government.
This plenary session was meant, in Sonia Gandhi’s words, “To make a fresh resolve, a resolve of service and of renewal. This resolve is not just a party calling, it is a national need.” Four resolutions were passed at the plenary session but there is nothing new, which can be described as addressing any national issues. All the issues mentioned in the resolutions are old and the stand taken on them was also on the expected lines. However, this plenary session has once again proved that there is no alternative to Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in Congress. Everyone was searching the future of Congress in only and only Rahul Gandhi.
By Ravi Shankar