Rahul Gandhi is leaving no stone unturned to effect changes in the Congress rank and file and there are many who believe that despite the bleak phase the party is currently passing through, things will eventually turn around.
The news that the party’s revamp in the aftermath of the poll debacle would now include scrapping of the Data Analytics Department, which played a key role in suggesting names of candidates who were given tickets for the parliamentary election, is perhaps a natural corollary.
The department was responsible for functioning of the party’s mobile application Shakti. Through the app, voters could give their feedback on the nominees, which became the basis of selecting candidates. Sadly, it turned out that most Congress nominees who were sure-shot winners as per the app ended up forfeiting their security deposits.
Since all combinations designed by Shakti app fell flat, there was strong speculation that the outgoing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was not given accurate findings from the data, which was collected through the app. Things reached such a pass that according to one report, inflated winner margins were deliberately calculated and conveyed to Rahul, which further compounded the confusion.
The ignominious defeats have led to a lot of heartburn within the party and there have been repeated demands from a section to get rid of the Data Analytics Department. To be fair to the Congress, there is no official word on dismantling of the department, with its chief, a close Rahul aide, stoutly denying that any such development was on the cards.
Happily for the Congress though, saner voices in the party and its well-wishers, who have been quiet over the years, are gradually shedding their reticence and coming out to the aid of the beleaguered outfit. Veteran Congressman Karan Singh has called for a meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body, Congress Working Committee (CWC), under the chairmanship of former premier Manmohan Singh, to take some decisions in view of Rahul’s resignation.
Rahul and the Congress leadership would do well to listen to the likes of Karan Singh, whose contribution to Indian public life is nearly without parallel. The leadership must heed Singh’s advice to reverse the cycle of negativity. Such negativity would lead to further demoralisation within the party, which the Congress cannot afford.
Uncertainty in the party has been compounded with the recent resignations of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora, both taking moral responsibility for the Congress defeat. Slowly but steadily, the party is getting its act together and instead of looking for scapegoats, the need of the hour is to put up a united front before the public. The hour of redemption would then have begun in right earnest.