Political analysts have blamed the culture of unquestioned loyalty (read psychophancy) for the steep decline in the fortunes of the Grand Old Party. Fawning courtiers bending over backwards to please the Gandhis, striking a discordant note was unthinkable in the not so recent past. But, of late disgruntled former loyalists spewing venom on the Gandhis seems be rather common.
So, when former environment minister in the UPA II govt Jayanthi Natarajan on Friday announced her resignation from the Congress party, it was not really a bolt from the blue.
Repeating the accusations she had made in the letter to Sonia Gandhi, Jayanthi said after she was asked to resign as environment minister by then PM Manmohan Singh on December 20, 2013, at the behest of Sonia Gandhi to do ‘party work’. Later she was removed as party spokesperson, The former Congress spokesperson claimed that she had never been told the reasons for her removal despite repeated requests to meet the Congress president and Congress vice-president. “I tried to meet Rahul Gandhi 100 times,” she said.
The familiar sight of a combative Nataranjan taking on her political adversaries in television debates or assiduously defending either Sonia Gandhi or Rahul from equally ferocious attacks from the BJP was something one had come to expect.
However, it was not her scathing attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, nor the explosive claims she followed his directions on green nod to projects or was “vilified, humiliated and sidelined” by central leadership that raised eyebrows.
The letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi that quoted Natarajan as saying “ While still a minister, an important matter that caused me great agitation is the fact that I was called upon to attack the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi in what media popularly dubbed ‘snoopgate’. I felt that we should attack Modi on policy and governance and not drag an unknown woman into it.”
Her sudden remorse at having attacked the Prime Minister in the snoopgate debates, and feeling stifled in a party that has an ‘atmosphere of lies and suffocation’, has a hollow ring to it. Many of the Congress leaders who have suddenly switched sides in the run up to the Delhi Assembly elections have done so not because their conscience suddenly pricked them. Most of the ‘suddenly’ vocal Congress leaders don’t exactly have squeaky clean reputations. Undue favours granted during ministerial tenures or other key assignments are suddenly coming to light. So the sudden burst of self righteousness is just a charade.
Soul stirring expositions lamenting the erosion of values in politics make for great viewing/reading, but that’s all it is sadly. Pure theatrics.