Will Sonia Gandhi compromise again?
Posted May 30, 2014on:
After having enjoyed unbridled power for ten years, the Congress party is now at its worst in the party’s history spanning a quarter and a century. Its rank and file is completely demoralised. What is worse, the Congress does not even have the number of members in Lok Sabha required under the rules to claim the status of recognised Opposition party, which Sonia Gandhi desperately needs to keep intact her vast empire as well as for the protection of her family members. The Narendra Modi government can oblige her by bending the rules, but surely not without a proper price. There is now the danger of Sonia Gandhi once again compromising as she once did on the defence deals scam issue.
The bungling in defence deals made by the NDA government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee during the Kargil war was exposed by Tehelka. Sonia Gandhi decided to take it up. She asked her party men to collect signatures all over the country on a petition to the President seeking an inquiry by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the defence scams. The Congressmen worked with a rare missionary zeal and were reported to have collected around 6.25 crore signatures in a three-month-long countrywide drive.
Such a massive mobilisation of the Congress party on an issue of vital public interest had not been witnessed in the past several decades. The top NDA leaders went into panic. Defence Minister George Fernandes lost his sleep, and with that a part of his sanity also. He went on threatening to file sedition cases against Sonia Gandhi if she did not desist (from what he said was an act aimed at demoralising the armed forces). Sonia Gandhi had, in spite of her linguistic handicaps and “lack of experience” in politics, caught the imagination of the masses. . It was said that Sonia, accompanied by all PCC presidents, would hand over the signatures to the President and seek action.
Then “something” happened and Sonia Gandhi pushed off to New York on a five-day visit allegedly for eliciting support of the non-resident Indians for the revitalisation process in the Congress party. Instead of seeking a fresh date from President K R Narayanan for submission of the signatures, she gave instructions to some AICC functionaries to take the truckloads of the bundles of signatures to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and present these to the President. Only a few newspapers took notice of it in a few lines on inside pages. What was expected to be a daring initiative against a corrupt government ended in a chaffy anti-climax.
It appears Sonia Gandhi is once again prepared to sell Congress party to the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for the sake of herself and her family members. The Congress may then continue with its whimpers but it will never be able to provide an effective opposition.