Instead of PM candidate, why Cong not focussing on grass-roots issues?

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After the decimation in four states in the Hindi heartland, the Congress has gone into a huddle. But as it has been frequently seen, the Congress is running after a wrong target. The question doing the rounds now is: Who will be the Congress's prime ministerial candidate now since Rahul Gandhi has failed to boost the party in the just concluded elections. Will be it some insider or a surprise face?

This deliberation over who will be the Congress's next PM candidate is a meaningless exercise. The real problem for the party is not that its roof has a hole but that its base is crumbling. Those Congress leaders attending urgent meetings in the wake of the electoral debacle need to think how the party's grassroot prospects can be improved.

The BJP has won in these elections because it had strong local leadership to back the appeal of Narendra Modi. The party is likely to welcome back BS Yeddyurappa in Karnataka to regain its votebank, after learning a sour lesson in the Karnataka elections in May. Has the Congress thought about accommodating YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is most likely to wipe the party out in the Andhra region next year?

As BJP is trying to win back BS Yeddyurappa, can't the Cong accommodate Jagan?

This is a typical problem of the Congress party. No matter how much Rahul Gandhi vows to learn things from Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, the fact is that the very structure of the grand-old party has been turned upside down from its formative years and in the top-down model that it follows, there is little possibility of doing what parties like AAP are doing.

It is no surprise that the focus of the centralised Congress party remains on the prime ministerial face and not the grassroot strength. The Congress was a big social coalition once with strong regional leaders but ever since a high-command culture began to dictate in the post-Nehru days, its base has crumbled beyond recognition.

Those urgent meetings now probing the disaster should deliberate on these lines. How can the state leadership be made independent of instructions from above and strong enough to take their own decisions, this the Congress people should ask themselves. But is there anybody to take a realistic call in that fast fading party?

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