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  4. Unity, hands-on approach of central leadership key lessons for Congress from Rajya Sabha election: Experts

Unity, hands-on approach of central leadership key lessons for Congress from Rajya Sabha election: Experts

Congress won three of the four seats in Rajasthan while it suffered a setback in Haryana where the grand old party's Ajay Maken, a former union minister and a party general secretary, lost to the BJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma.

Hritika Mitra Edited by: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Published on: June 11, 2022 18:19 IST
Rajya Sabha election 2022, Congress, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Rajya Sabha election results,
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Unity, hands-on approach of central leadership key lessons for Congress from Rajya Sabha election: Experts 

Highlights

  • Experts have stated that the key lesson for Congress after the Rajya Sabha election is to ensure uni
  • Congress won three out of four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan while it suffered a setback in Haryana
  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot worked hard to ensure the success in the poll

The key lesson for Congress after the Rajya Sabha election results is to ensure unity within the party. Analysts also believe a more hands-on approach of central leadership within the party would yield positive outcomes. Some analysts also believe that outsourcing political management to regional leaders may have proven counterproductive while stating that micromanagement by the Gandhi family was needed.

Congress won three out of four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan while it suffered a setback in Haryana. BB Batra, Congress's Haryana MLA and authorised polling agent said party MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi was cross-voted for BJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma. Lack of unity seemed to be the party's undoing in Haryana.

In a tweet in Hindi after the voting, Bishnoi said, "I have the talent to crush a snake's fangs, one should not leave the jungle for the fear of the snake." There is a feeling that Bishnoi should have been won over by the central Congress leadership.

While disunity proved to be the party's undoing in Haryana, the story was completely different in Rajasthan with the faction-ridden state unit showing rare unity with both Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps working to ensure the success in the polls. Rasheed Kidwai, the author of "24, Akbar Road" and "Sonia: A Biography", said the hands-on approach of the top leadership of the Congress was "missing".

"The Congress had outsourced it to regional satraps, whether it was Bhupinder Hooda in Haryana or Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan. The political management should have been handled by the central leadership, which was missing" Kidwai said. "Over reliance on regional satraps is going to complicate things because now in Rajasthan with the Gehlot-Pilot thing, Pilot camp would be under pressure to put further pressure on the top leadership," he said.

Kidwai asked who will now take ownership of the Haryana "fiasco" and said the central leadership should have micromanaged the situation there which it did not. Echoing similar views, Manindra Nath Thakur, an associate professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre for Political Studies, agreed that unity and hands-on approach of the Congress' central leadership was something the party should strive to achieve going forward.

The Congress leadership needed to assert and reach out to people for the Rajya Sabha polls, Thakur said, adding that the Congress is losing the "command" that is needed in such polls. "This is a moment of crisis for the Congress and at this moment it has to demonstrate, it is down but not out," he said. Sanjay K Pandey, a Jawaharlal Nehru University professor and a political commentator, said the Congress' strategy of relying on satraps cannot be faulted as Gehlot showed with his politically-astute moves that success can be achieved.

However, he said unity is a lesson that Congress must draw and noted that the party was striving for it and reaching out to Opposition parties. Gehlot not only managed to keep the flock of its supporting MLAs together but also embarrassed the BJP by wooing over one of its MLAs to foil the saffron party's efforts to get an independent, outgoing MP and media entrepreneur Subhash Chandra, elected. Newly-elected MP Randeep Surjewala said it was a victory of truth.

Pramod Tiwari said the magic of Gehlot worked for the Congress. Rajya Sabha polls for 57 seats were held across 15 states. While 41 members in 11 states were elected unopposed, elections were held for 16 seats in four states on Friday due to the presence of more contestants than the available vacancies in each of these states. Congress has got nine seats in this election and now its strength in the upper house will be 32. That is, it will have the advantage of three seats because, before the elections in these 57 seats, the number of its members was 29. Out of these 29 members, the term of six members is ending in July. Of these, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Vivek Tankha have once again been elected to the Upper House. 

(With PTI inputs)

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