Why ignoring Karti Chidambaram's 'wake up call' will be disastrous for Congress

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Congress heading for another disaster?
If GK Vasan's resignation from the Congress was a major blow for the grand-old-party of India on Tuesday, the party's leadership was left red faced on Wednesday as Kartik Chidambaram, another Tamil Nadu leader, questioned the 'high-command observer culture' in the party.

Kartik, who happens to be the son of former union minister P Chidambaram, with his statement has revealed the of growing dissent within the Congress. This is symbolic of something terribly wrong is going within the party, facing the two major challenges i.e. keeping its house intact and redeeming its lost glory.

What did Karti Chidambaram say?

In an interview to Times Now Karti Chidambaram said, "The Tamil Nadu unit must have a fair amount of autonomy in functioning. We must re-think this high-command observer culture."

The Congress leader also complained that the state units are not given fair amount of liberty so that they can act and react swiftly. He also said that as the political realms are changing in the state, the party needs to immediately resolve such certain issues.

"Tamil Nadu political market is very crowded. Congress has to be more proactive. We cannot wait for Delhi to show the path in every single way," he further told the news channel.

"There must be a far greater autonomy to the state unit. We must be in line with the national policy, but the state unit must be able to act and react much more swiftly in every issue. We have not been able to do that," he reiterated.

Congress can't function the way it was working a decade ago

Rejecting the claims of some state Congress leaders that desertions do not impact the party's prospects he said, "I don't subscribe to the bravado view that no matter who leaves the party there is no impact on the party. Even if a grass-root level worker leaves the party, it damages the party in some way."

Congress a divided house in TN

Chidambaram junior's comment shows that the party's state leadership in Tamil Nadu is a divided house and a section strongly feels that the Central leadership is ignorant towards their needs. Exit of a seasoned leader like Vasan from the party reflects that a section of party is unhappy with the top brass. But, the top brass holding the reigns of the dynastic party is not paying heed to the rising clamour.

Why rift within Congress?

The prime reason for growing dissent within Congress is due to the lack of leadership in the party's core that comprises members of Nehru-Gandhi-family. After Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the party never got a mass leader. Rahul Gandhi as well as Sonia Gandhi have never shown the capability of a mass leader. The mother-son duo of Sonia-Rahul continued returning favours to their loyalists. They never learnt from their mistakes in previous elections and continued repeating them in the subsequent elections. This helped the party's arch rival the BJP to easily corrode its vote base.

Congress has stopped learning from its mistakes

By the end of Lok Sabha polls in which the party faced its worst ever rout, the dissent within the party was at its peak. Same was the case in the recently concluded assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana, where the party lost both the states at BJP's hands. But, instead of looking into the problems the party's leadership is backing loyalists and punishing those for raising voices against 10 Janpath and calling for introspection.

The Congress has not understood that it can't function the way it was working a decade ago. The poll dynamics have changed and its policy of appeasement, dynastic politics and divide and rule are going to work no more. But, those sitting at the helm of it are still living in their own virtual worlds.

This is the reason why powerful state leaders have cut across the party's line and floated a party of their own and went on to become a major force in their respective regions. One can take the example of YSR Congress (YSRCP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), etc. Hence, one won't be surprised to see if Vasan's new party puts question mark over Congress' existence in the Dravidian state.

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