Congress’ irrational exuberance

Eager to score brownie points against the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have made a major setback to the former—its veteran leader and Sonia Gandhi confidante Ahmed Patel barely managing to retain his Rajya Sabha seat—appear like a fillip to the grand old party. Appear, for there can’t be any real fillip with a clueless dynasty on top.

Imagine the scenario in which the BJP behaved normally on Monday—no Cabinet ministers rushing to the Election Commission, no party spokespersons excitedly screaming on news channels, no big claims made. Had the ruling party just waited for the results and accepted them gracefully, had they not indulged in melodrama, the GOP would have looked after the recent RS polls exactly what it is: a badly bruised, withering organization whose flock is kept together allegedly by money power. But BJP president Amit Shah had invested so heavily in Patel’s loss that even the two RS seats it won look like poor compensation for Patel’s victory.

The saffron party is neither covering itself in glory nor gaining anything by prolonging its misery. “Don’t agree with the EC’s decision. In coming days we will fight a legal battle and will get justice,” said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Gujarat Rajya Sabha election results. With its shenanigans coming a cropper, the least the BJP can do is behave like a good loser. At any rate, it hasn’t lost much.

And the GOP hasn’t gained much. What the entire episode has proved is that only the mighty Narendra Modi-Shah duo can embarrass the Modi-Shah duo. Just like only Gabbar Singh could check Gabbar Singh in Sholay. Congress leaders and workers merrily celebrated Patel’s win, as if they had dislodged the BJP from the Centre or even in Gujarat. But then the party doesn’t get much to celebrate nowadays, so it eagerly lapped up whatever it could lay its hands on. This is what has become of the party which just three decades ago was the colossus dominating the political arena.

The BJP’s exertions to get Patel defeated and its unease at its failure have also made us at the receiving end of considerable cant. Truth has won and ego has suffered defeat. BJP’s claims were proved hollow, said Congress leader R.S. Surjewala on Patel’s victory.

Patel is the embodiment of truth? He was the second most powerful person in the 10-year rule of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, inarguably the most corrupt 10 years in the history of Independent India. That man is synonymous with the truth? Was claptrap ever so brazen?

Besides, the victory of ‘truth’ has translated into the retention, and not the gain, of just one RS seat. Huge celebrations and hyperbole are certainly uncalled for. One swallow doesn’t a summer make.

The Congress has neither the leadership nor an ideology nor even a powerful idea—not even something as phony as ‘secularism’ which proved to be extremely beneficial to the party but has run its course—to take on the saffron dispensation. On the other hand, the BJP can boast of a hugely popular Prime Minister, a massive organization (the Sangh Parivar), and a fiery ideology (nationalism).

Patel’s victory may be some temporary relief to the Congress, but it is certainly not the amrita that can resuscitate it.


Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons