ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No Way Back

THE disintegration of the Congress as a party has not merely been inevitable, but in some ways is already an accomplished fact. True, the Congress still retains the appearance of a functioning party, with a chain of command stretching from the President to a whole range of official bodies and office-bearers at the Centre and in the states. But nothing illustrates the near-collapse of this structure than the fact that the party has been for years unable to hold its organisational elections; and even the AICC, which normally is expected to meet twice every year, has not been able to meet since December 1980. Its meeting scheduled for April 24 has, like so many earlier scheduled meetings, been put off, as one of the general secretaries sought to explain, in view of the coming elections though the meeting had been summoned precisely to discuss the impending elections. Considering that each of the Congress(I) units in the states where elections are scheduled has a multiplicity of complete lists of potential candidates, any summoning of the formal body would have created serious problems. Anyway, the rationalisation goes, since by definition and formal nomenclature Indira Gandhi is the supreme leader, there is really no need to even have such intermediary bodies, let atone have them inert regularly, haw proper elections and so on, Such being the case, it is inevitable that the fortunes of the party as much as its programmes and general orienta- tion should be so intimately connected with the party president's personality and personal predicaments and fortunes. If too much attention is being paid to the domestic problems of Indira Gandhi in recent weeks, it is merely a reflection of the times; also, Indira Candhi has herself always pressed an almost mystic identification of her person and of her 'family' with the Congress party as well as the country and has been relentlessly trying to reshape the party entirely in her own image.

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