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Political crisis

Political crisis

The ruckus caused by the Madhya Pradesh political crisis seems to have exposed Congress's worst fears — a public display of hollowness pertaining to the party's internal functioning. It was a bleak Holi for the Indian National Congress which had to witness the departure of one of their prominent leaders and former MP: Jyotiraditya Scindia. The party brass, baffled by Scindia's decision to leave, earnestly swung into action in an effort to secure the Madhya Pradesh government that stands precariously following the resignation of 22 MLAs. As evident, there was no scope to placate a disgruntled Jyotiraditya, whose resolve carried him over to rivals BJP merely a day after his unceremonious Congress exit. His comments following a switch to BJP were a testimony to Congress's blemished character which, in general, stands relatively degraded to the heights that its former self had attained throughout the course of history. Jyotiraditya's switch exposes a decaying fabric of internal politics that Congress has ignored. Jyotiraditya's discontent was no surprise. As such a party member's dissatisfaction with the state of affairs is common. What was indeed surprising was the way Congress handled the situation. If Jyotiraditya was discontent all along since the formation of the Kamal Nath government in 2018, his last resort to leave Congress and join BJP should be viewed as a gross failure on Congress's part. By all measures, Congress should have done more to prevent such a step that now has thrown party into a turmoil, even though it would not necessarily accept one in front of the world. Congress remains in need of a massive overhaul. While the Congress may not have yielded anything in the consecutive general elections of 2014 and 2019 with Rahul Gandhi at the helm, it has certainly lost more in his absence. Lack of a leader has come to haunt the party in different spheres. Ever since Congress swept the three states of Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh in 2018, there has been not a trace of improvement from the grand old party with the Delhi elections being a disaster for them. At this rate, Congress might face an existential crisis. Its rich history and legacy have been put to shame with its current functioning. In all aspects, Congress resembles a once-mighty broken ship that cuts a desolate figure at the corner of India's political paradigm. It no longer represents itself as a countrywide force, at least not in practical terms. Scindia's departure is a crucial point in the context of Congress's decay. It precisely outlines party failure to hold itself together, especially in times when their principal opposition has exuded outstanding majority in the country. What compounds Congress's adversity is the fact it was unable to muster 10 per cent of seats in Parliament in both 2014 and 2019 that would have seen them as the official opposition in the Lok Sabha.

While Congress's decay is evident, the other concern in Jyotiraditya's switch is the democratic turbulence that has marred India. Dissolution of state governments due to lack of majority in state Assembly hints at the eroding character of democracy. It points to the dangerous trend of horse trading that has already had a major episode in Karnataka. With MPs flocking to party safehouses, as reported yesterday, the MP government is tracing the same path as its Karnataka counterpart. HD Kumaraswamy's coalition government could not hold it together and had to give up the mantle for BS Yedyiurappa's government but with a crucial factor working in latter's success: MLAs. Defection of MLAs has been a dangerous practice for democracy. And, the same seems to have its way in the MP scenario. Despite the anti-defection law, the lapse present in system has been well-exploited. The lapse is such that with the resignation of MLAs from the Assembly, the majority mark will fall to a level favourable for BJP to stake claim to the government following the no-confidence motion. In an utter disrespect of people's mandate, the government changes and democracy still wins!

(Image from livehindustan.com)

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