Herald: Goa’s Congress: Party of Pessimists, not Grand Old Party anymore

Goa’s Congress: Party of Pessimists, not Grand Old Party anymore

22 Oct 2018 06:05am IST
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22 Oct 2018 06:05am IST

They could not handle the mandate for setting up a Government and their adversary stole their mandate away. They cannot hold their flock together as they have lost three MLAs in one year since the current Assembly began. And now they are clueless in a disjointed huddle knowing not which way to go.

Meet Goa’s Congress Party. The proud organisation of over half a dozen Chief Ministers, ruled the State for over three decades and currently awaiting its Armageddon. The party, despite having reaped the benefits of anti-incumbency wave against BJP despite the NDA at the Centre ran about like a headless chicken failing to capitalise on a decimated BJP. But there is more than the party has lost its bid to power. It is a party that has lost its mojo. Or did it ever have it?

It’s been five months since Girish Chodankar assumed Presidentship of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee. In these five months, the Man who was supposed to be with squeaky clean credentials and represented the youthfulness of India’s oldest party has been a Man at sea. Played down by senior party MLAs, ignored by seasoned Congressmen, exploited by wannabe new leaders and derided by other party leaders; young Chodankar’s situation is worse than maybe Abhimanyu in Mahabharat. The similarities are chillingly similar Chodankar like Abhimanyu knows how to get into the battlefield but then he does not quite know how to come out. And oh yes, just as Abhimanyu, Chodankar is being done in by his own party kith and kin. 

But then Chodankar isn’t quite a martyr. He is a loyalist more adept at leading rallies, making speeches, picketing for a cause and listening to party High Command. In five months, he has not been able to set the Congress house in order. The GPCC Executive Committee is yet to be constituted as Chodankar battles between demands or realpolitik and party organisation. Congress Party as a whole is in a complete state of disarray as all the forty blocks across constituencies await acknowledgement. Their State President has not even visited each Block formally nor do the Block Committees know that whether they exist or not. One of the Block Committee Presidents says that the only call that he gets from GPCC Headquarters in Panjim is that for organising buses and crowd for sabhas and zagors. None of the blocks is engaging head on with numerous illegalities mushrooming in their areas as they ‘don’t know about their status’. The Congress organisation of present resembles a Nursery School class where everyone complains about everyone to the Class Teacher and nobody moves a muscle ‘cos the Class Teacher never told them to. Hello Girish! This is your Congress Party. Recognise it?

See the difference. While Congress, supposedly heir to the status of one of the largest party in Goa is more interested to engage the media through Press Conferences and lofty soundbites; nascent Aam Admi Party is gaining ground rapidly with just couple of heads appearing in media while the growing cadre files complaints, fights PIL suits and pickets authorities making them work. Congress with its large army resembles more like a cattle farm while AAP seems a galloping bunch of rebels refusing to accept the status quo around. AAP is seeming more like the real Opposition, Dear Congress not your decimated bunch of 14.

Politics is the first ideology then organisation. Politics is the first vision than mission. Your young guns don’t have the tact to connect with your party elders nor do your party elders seem to be deriving any confidence from the youth brigade that seems to be frequenting GPCC office as power and publicity marauders. Your character as the voice of the people shows most when your chips are down. A failed bid for power shows that Congress isn’t even thinking of the people. It is existing just to make another bid for power. How then is your party any different from the BJP and its power-hungry coalition? Even they don’t listen to their party workers. Even they don’t care about the people of Goa. Quite a mirror image, isn’t it Dear Congress? 

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