George Abraham, May 15
‘Introspection’ has become the most abusive word in the Congress repo tire, and every time Congress loses, there would be an introspection, and that would become an end in itself. The result: People simply have lost trust and confidence in the current leadership, and only a wholesale change from top to bottom may provide a ray of hope. Now the truth has been revealed: these leaders are totally out of touch with the people; they are in their own virtual silos disconnected from reality. For example, many of them were making fun of CPM buying votes by providing food kits. Instead of supporting good deeds by the government, they tried to be the stumbling blocks to good governance even by fling petition with authorities. Congress is supposed to be a secular party.
However, the eagerness to put the Sabarimala issue once again in front to create further communal polarization was not in the best interest of the party’s fortune. On Television, Congress and BJP appeared to have the same sound bites. For example, the Congress party and many of its leaders are victims of the politicization of central agencies like CBI and Enforcement Directorate by the Modi-Shah duo. In Central Travancore, especially in Pathanamthitta District, where Congress lost all seats, minorities who dominate those constituencies are said to have lost faith in the Congress party as a strong guardian of religious freedom. CPM apparently has replaced the Congress party as an ardent defender of pluralism and diversity by quickly responding to any threats arising from the Saffron brigade.
Congress leaders are known for their silence in the face of intimidation and violence from these extremist elements. They also appeared to have failed in condemning violence against minorities outside of Kerala. Instead of putting these feuding groups out of business, this election saw the addition of another quasi-group to the fray. A veteran leader told me that although he was part of the Election Committee, not a single meeting was convened, nor was he consulted. It has become a tradition in India to emulate dynasty politics mostly to protect the ill-gotten wealth of their elders. Palarivattom Bridge remained a symbol of the leverage one coalition partner had over the UDF governance and exhibited the extend of tolerance by the Congress leadership towards fraud and corruption for the sake of clinging on to power.
The national leadership cannot escape from the responsibility either, as there is a crisis of leadership at the top. There is a growing perception that the Congress party is leaderless, rudderless, and adrift. The very inability of the Senior leadership to put an end to this group is a clear indication of a lack of decisive leadership at the top that is supposed to inspire confidence throughout the ranks. Congress Party in Kerala was in opposition for five years. It indeed points to an organizational failure at the state level, and the leaders must be held accountable for that massive failure.
People were assured that 55% of all the candidates were new faces, yet it did not take too much time to figure out that the sycophants of these group leaders were the beneficiaries. It has become clear that they had no connections with the grassroots. Therefore, in my personal capacity as someone who has labored for the party from my student days until now, I implore the top leadership to overhaul the KPCC with new faces who could inspire confidence and provide strong leadership for the Congress Party to survive as a viable entity in Kerala. conducting organizational elections from the Block level upwards would be a desirable start!