Ultimately it has been left to the likes of Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik a vocal BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh to expose the Congress party in ways more than one.
In his unique style and mannerism, Union Minister Giriraj Singh took a pot shot at the Congress party for making Sonia Gandhi the interim Congress president saying, "For the first time in history, I have heard a mother is getting the inheritance right after her son...”.
The sarcastic reference was on Congress Working Committee's decision to make Sonia Gandhi the interim head of the country’s grand old party after Rahul Gandhi-inspired script prevailed – and none outside the Gandhi family or even Priyanka Gandhi was allowed to take charge.
Since there is no hard and fast rules or time fixed for holding organisational polls especially at the level of new party chief, it is certain Sonia Gandhi will control the party and hence the hot seat remains ‘reserved’ for Rahul Gandhi.
In this context, one missive in the micro blogging site Twitter can be easily referred to, "Rahul Gandhi may still be an enigma – a puzzle the ailing mother Sonia Gandhi is unable to resolve. Hence, she is back".
We will deal with the Congress’s internal war and drama at later stage.
Another saga related to Congress party these days is its ‘Kashmir policy’ vis-a-vis the Modi Government’s most decisive action in last five and half years (since 2014). That is the abrogation of the Article 370.
There is a blatant double standard and worse, often a pro-Pakistan line in Congress party’s official stance. Others say it is a mix of ‘appeasement politics’ trying to keep Muslims happy and allowing some leaders to make rebel-like statements to show that one section of party leaders backed abrogation of the Article 370.
Officially, the party has not clearly said that it is opposing Article 370. The official line has been that the manner in which government has brought this new policy was not proper. So when it came to speaking in Parliament and expressing his party’s policy and more importantly his views on Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi kept mum. So did Sonia Gandhi.
So when it came to speaking in Parliament and expressing his party’s policy and more importantly his views on Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi kept mum. So did Sonia Gandhi
Now, it is for the Jammu & Kashmir Governor Mr Malik, who is exposing the Congress leadership.
Governor Satya Pal Malik on August 12 challenged Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir and then speak.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) should come, see and then speak," Mr Malik told a private news channel.
The Governor was questioning Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders for criticising the government on the pretext that things are serious in Jammu & Kashmir.
"Rahul Gandhi is a youth leader from a large party, I expect matured statement from him. I expected him to speak in Parliament during the debate," the Governor said.
"But from his party someone (Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury) spoke who did not know what and how is Kashmir connected to the UN. He did not speak in Parliament, but he came out of his party meeting and started saying things are not good in Kashmir," he said.
The Governor said, "We have official plane, we can send him a plane to visit the state. You (Rahul Gandhi) come, visit hospitals and then speak....Not even a single man is injured in Jammu & Kashmir today".
Several Congress leaders including P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh have referred to reports in a section of western media and said things are not normal in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has denied the charge vehemently.
Both the ruling BJP and the Jammu and Kashmir government have said that peaceful situation prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region post abrogation of the Article and also during Eid on August 12.
“In Srinagar, keeping in view the possibility of terrorists, militants and mischievous elements trying to disturb public order and peace, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas. People gathered in large numbers at local mosques to offer prayers and greet each other,” a J&K Government official has said.
There were large prayer congregations at many places including Bandipora (Dar ul Uloom Rahimiya 5000, Jama Masjid 2000), Baramulla (10,000), Kupwara (Eidgah 3500), Trehgam (3000), Sopore (1500), Kulgam (Qazigund 5500, Qaimoh 6000), Shopian (3000), Pulwama (1800), Awantipora (2500), Anantnag (Achabal 3000), Ganderbal (over 7000), Budgam (Chararesharif 5000, Magam 8000), Srinagar (hundreds of local mosques). In Jammu, over 5000 prayed at Eidgah. Similar large gatherings were there in Jammu province.
In all the districts elaborate arragements were made by the respective magistrates including requisite number of sacrificial sheep.
Ration Ghats in every district have started functioning to supply ration to the general public. Out of 3697 Ration Ghats in Kashmir Division, 3557 Ration Ghats have been made operational to provide ration to the general public.
Special and elaborate arrangements have been made for the safe and hassle-free return of Hajis from Saudi Arabia, for which flights will commence on August 18.
Meanwhile, some Congress leaders have been making noise. P Chidambaram, a former Union Home Minister, said the abrogation of Article 370 would not have been done had J&K was not a Muslim majority state.
Dr Subramanian Swamy said the Congress party which claims of bringing liberation to the country is today toeing the line or is being ‘slave’ to an enemy nation, Pakistan.
"The abrogation of Article 370 was a decision taken in national interest. In the name of Article 370, all these years even Muslims faced discrimination and injustice. Gujjars, Bakarwals and other tribals were deprived of reservation rights," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said adding Muslim women of Jammu and Kashmir also suffered discrimination due to Article 370. Chidambaram’s statement is ‘unfortunate’ and this can only instigate people.
Lack of Options
Last week, Congress enacted a drama and made Sonia Gandhi their interim president. The BJP reacted initially saying it was Congress party’s internal matter but said the move was "hardly" surprising and showed total lack of options in the Congress party. The BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said, "....it should not be forgotten that in 2014 the Congress party was diminished miserably".
Mr Malviya also told a private television news channel, "Let us not forget that Sonia Gandhi was president of Congress for 19 years and Congress was diminished significantly under her leadership".
"....and to have her back again really talks about the lack of option in Congress party," he has said. Another BJP leader Shaina NC said it was purely an internal matter of the Congress and the decision showed that the country's opposition party could not see beyond one family.
There was another sarcastic tweet from BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya, who tweeted stating: "To Congress with love....,”. However, the missive had a brief video with the protagonist in it saying, "Tum log Zindagi bhar Ma-bete ki Ghulami karte rahego (Entire your life you people - that is rest of Congress leaders - will behave as a slave to the mother-son duo)".
The Congress decision on banking yet again on Sonia Gandhi after 38 days of drama of so-called resignation by Rahul Gandhi has exposed the grand old party’s rather helplessness situation when it comes to ‘coming’ out of the shadow of the dynastic politics.
Twitteratis and political observers feel last few week’s developments only suggest that the Congress party cannot come out of the ‘family’ control and perhaps more importantly it cannot give up its minority and especially Muslim appeasement politics too.
In Kashmir policy, the Congress official line has been time and again close to what Pakistani leaders and fake Twitter handlers are dishing out.
(The writer is a freelancer)