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Actual Problem

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Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has asked why party President Sonia Gandhi would indulge in corruption in the Young India case when there were so many better opportunities during the decades the party enjoyed power. It is a good question and is probably answered by the fact that the takeover of the National Herald assets was driven by the desire to maintain control over ‘party assets’ to pre-empt some other leader or faction from doing so. After all, one of the primary reasons the Gandhi family has managed to stay centre-stage in the Congress is by controlling the purse strings. The ‘independent’ sources of funding probably became difficult to tap after the Bofors and other exposes. The defeat of the party in state after state also led to drying up of another source, with local satraps finding it difficult to match High Command expectations. Leadership changes in Uttarakhand are testimony to that.

Protest as they may, members of the Congress should be more concerned than the Enforcement Directorate at the goings on. The emerging facts reveal that it is not so much the ‘charisma’ or supposed vote-getting power of the Nehru-Gandhis that commands the loyalty of the cadre, as much the funding ability. All the changes required to bring the Grand Old Party back centre-stage remain in limbo because of this stranglehold. Any deserving person who spends a lifetime serving the party and its ideology should be able to aspire to the top post. This is not a possibility and, in the present highly competitive political environment, it blocks all chances of a resurrection.

Instead of protesting against the ED, the party supporters would do well to agitate against the monopolistic hold of ‘la famiglia’. And Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury should have done some thinking before speaking.