Ahmed Patel is not a popular leader. Common people of the country do not know him. Even for average news conscious people, he is just a senior Congress leader, who is hardly found speaking before the media, least in public gatherings. But, in political circles, his value in Congress is highly valued. He is known to be one of the strongest pillars of the grand old party. His position of political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi speaks volume of his importance in the party. No doubt, BJP wants his scalp. If the ruling party can prevent Patel this time from coming to the Rajya Sabha, it will be a huge defeat for the Congress. His defeat will be almost equivalent to the Congress losing a state, which is no more a big surprise now. Plus his morale will be down affecting the policy making and decision making in the party.
The way BJP went all guns blazing to stop Patel’s boat by effecting erosion in Gujarat Congress – 6 Congress MLAs switched sides to the saffron brigade in two days – the Sonia side too surprised by flying away the 44 remaining MLAs all the way to Karnataka, one of the last 3 major states currently ruled by the party. The Congress did not think of the public impression about the political move of hoarding MLAs, as if the party does not have the faith on its own MLAs. The party wants to suggest that its MLAs are prone to lure of cash and kind, which is allegedly being offered by the BJP in great volume. This type of act is no exception to any party in times of political instability. But it sends a very ugly message to public, who can read through the act. Saying BJP to did it in the past can no more justify keeping 44 MLAs in a resort for an uncertain period at a time when lakhs of people back their constituencies are still suffering from the flood trauma.
However, the BJP allegedly played the ultimate card, to put the Congress in further shame. The income tax raid on the house of the Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar and recovery of over Rs 11 crore in cash from multiple premises linked to him has put the party into further embarrassment. More suicidal for the party was storming the well of the Rajya Sabha in protest against the action against the Karnataka minister. BJP is not winning elections, but also one after another political games against the Congress, which is currently burdened by the legacy of Gandhi family.
(Published as The Meghalaya Guardian as editorial on August 4, 2017)