It seems that the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress are locked in a bitter tussle of changing their Chief Ministers just ahead of the elections. First, it was the BJP in Gujarat and now it’s the Congress in Punjab. Nevertheless, at least both the parties seem to have earned some brownie points with their move. While on one hand, the BJP did manage to boost the party morale with the leadership change in Gujrat. On the other, Congress put an end to long-running infighting between the party leaders in Punjab. Having said this, the BJP’s move comes after the government being attacked over economic and pandemic issues. And with Modi still leading the party with resilience, the move was portrayed to be a follow-up of the party’s motto of either performing or making way. This goes a long way in infusing positivity among the rank and files of the party and pump in adrenaline in the working group of the same. The saffron camp will not consider this as a massive factor but will be happy with how the outcome has been perceived by all.
The situation in Punjab is however not still out of the murky water as of yet. The rift between former CM Capt Amarinder Singh and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is now out in the open. The party has already been factionalized between the two heavyweights. The central leadership’s decision to go with Charanjit Singh Channi, the Dalit face of the party may have brought a sense of equality among the factions, but the infighting is far from over. Sources inform that the party is suffering internally within the state which might result in the party’s downfall in the upcoming elections. Some observers also believe that both Capt Singh and Sidhu are also keeping their options open to switch parties before the elections. However, Congress has denied any such reports and exuded confidence that the Channi leadership will further strengthen people’s belief in the party. Meanwhile, Channi has just 4 months to revive governance and find backing from the faction-ridden party with ambitious leaders. Interestingly, the Congress central leadership took over four years to realize the fact and act. Nevertheless, political pundits still believe that not all is over for congress. The fact that Punjab is one of the leading states against controversial bills brought by the NDA government at the center, and by finally stressing over a Dalit Chief Minister, Congress might still be able to pull through.
There is no doubt the strongest bastion of the Congress is facing strain under the pressure of the fanciful desires of the leadership. How far the sacking exercise will bolster the electoral prospect of the Congress is not yet clear but one thing is certain that this has exposed the impulsiveness of the leadership. Removing Amarinder may be an internal matter of Congress, but any political action must have a rationale. While the party consistently loses ground, removing the person who had endured the onslaught of Narendra Modi and Akali Dal while ensuring the victory of the Congress, is quite intriguing. Congress must draw references from the Bengal election which proved to be the Waterloo for the BJP. It is time that Congress must correlate with economic issues and try to build a nationwide movement. Simply hurling jibes and accusing Modi of selling India will have no effect on the people.