In yet another setback to the already depleted Congress, it seems that all is not well within the Karnataka unit prior to the crucial assembly elections. It seems that fed up with the poor performance of the make believe youth icon of the Congress, the state leadership and cadres are reluctant to the proposition of the party president Rahul Gandhi campaigning for them. The Congress is not only suffering from a sudden strategic shift, but it also seems as if one of the heavyweights in the state might switch sides and join the Bhartiya Janta Party.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to visit the Malenadu region of Karnataka this Tuesday. The region is considered to be a BJP stronghold, and therefore the prospect of such a visit carries a lot of importance. But if the local workers and the leadership of the Congress is to be believed, it appears that the in-charge of Udupi District unit, Pramod Madhawraj, is not too keen to host the Congress president. Similarly, these sources suggest that Byndoor MLA Gopala Pujari has also given a cold shoulder to the idea of Rahul Gandhi campaigning for him, fearing a loss of votes.
It seems that the local leadership is too scared of the Congress president’s uncanny ability to ensure shameful Congress defeats. Their apprehension is justified, given that Rahul Gandhi’s track record speaks for itself. Rahul Gandhi not only took Congress to a nadir in 2014, but his continuous campaigns after 2014 have ensured that Congress’ dominance becomes a thing of the past. The only state where Congress performed well post 2014 is Punjab, courtesy Rahul’s absence and Captain Amrinder Singh’s complete control over party affairs in the state. There has also been a marked shift in the Congress strategy vis-à-vis the Karnataka campaign. The party is no longer keen on pitching Rahul as a leader against prime minister Narendra Modi. There is heavy reliance on the state leadership and the Congress is trying to create a myth of good governance in Karnataka despite a deplorable track record of administration under the current Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Moreover, the local workers and leaders in the region suggest that the political heavyweight Pramod Madhawraj has not only shown reluctance to host Rahul Gandhi, but he might also switch sides and join the BJP. It suggests that the Karnataka Congress might be falling apart in face of troubled times. The future does not look all that rosy for the Congress, with massive anti-incumbency due to a poor track record coupled with feeble and incapable national leadership.
Rahul Gandhi’s incompetence was never much of a secret. With daily goof-ups prior to the 2014 elections followed by a string of humiliating defeats post 2014, Rahul Gandhi’s inability to lead the grand old party was out in the open. However, this is a clear message from a section of the Congress. It appears that the party has given up on the national president and wants some amount of autonomy from him. It also suggests that the Congress might finally be falling apart and might ultimately balkanize into regional groupings due to an incompetent national leader.
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