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

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Congress Power Play

ONCE again the Congress Party is demonstrating that, despite its pathetic decline, it still has the capability to unsettle political arrangements in New Delhi. But as is only to be expected of a political outfit which has lost both programmatic and organisational coherence, this residual capability has been used solely for the purpose of advancing the interests of particular factions in the party against those of others. Not so long ago, Sitaram Kesri, the recently anointed president of the party, tried to consolidate his position by his sudden decision to withdraw the party's support to the United Front government, then headed by Deve Gowda. The operation seemed successful and there was talk of a Congress revival under Kesri's leadership, but only for a very short while. Now Kesri's opponents in the party have turned the tables on him, using much the same tactics. They have seized on the so-called findings of the interim report of the Jain Commission to mount a campaign for the removal of the DMK from the UF government. Their real objective clearly is to defeat the strategy that Kesri has been pursuing which is to eventually secure the entry of the Congress into the government. In his effort, the success of which would certainly have added significantly to the support for him within his party, he evidently had the tacit support of prime minister Gujral and some of the constituents of the UF. By whipping up emotions against the DMK in the Congress and thereby compelling the UF to take a stand against dropping the DMK from the government, Kesri'r opponents in his party have effectively put paid to these calculations. For the purposes of these manoeuvres, it is irrelevant whether or not there is any substance to the charges of DMK's involvement in any conspiracy that led to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi; as irrelevant as was the veracity of Sitaram Kesri's charge, which he used to get rid of Deve Gowda, that the UF government under Gowda had failed to counter the advance of communal forces in the country.

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