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Pramod Acharya 27th Jul 2021

DILLI VS GULLY: CHANGING APPROACHES?

Goa witnessed three significant political events during the last fortnight. First, it was the national convenor of AAP Arvind Kejriwal arriving in Goa on a two-day visit. Then it was BJP national president J P Nadda visiting the state on a two-day tour; thirdly, all heavyweight Congress leaders from Goa flying to Delhi and meeting de-facto in charge of the party, Rahul Gandhi.

Kejriwal's visit was to unofficially kick-start the campaign of the party for ensuing assembly elections in 2022. J P Nadda intended to galvanise the cadre and organisational machinery of the party for the polls. However, Congress was revolving around the changes that the party needs to execute with elections just six months away.

The stark difference between the BJP and the AAP approach vis-a-vis Congress was very pertinent. While the top leadership of the first two parties preferred to descend in the state, Congress' top brass decided to summon the senior leadership of the local unit to Delhi. While the BJP and the AAP have realised that the Dilli approach can no longer be efficient when it comes to the Gully politics of states, the Congress still believes that proceedings can be viewed and operated from the ivory towers.

BJP is fully aware of the negativity it faces on the ground. AAP is conscious of its shortcomings and the deficiency of realpolitik faces in its fold. However, the Congress party seems to be in the la-la land. Who shall be the next Pradesh Congress Committee chief and whether any change of guard is beneficial at this point are the rudimentary questions, those should have been ideally settled a year ago, are bothering the party on the face of an all-important election.

The problem for Congress lies in Delhi as much as it exists in Goa. In that post-meeting photo-op with Rahul Gandhi, were three former chief ministers, one former deputy chief minister, a three-time MLA and a present GPCC president. Congress leadership felt it appropriate to meet these senior leaders in Delhi rather than landing in Goa to conduct extensive consultations about internal issues grappling the party.

The party adopted the same approach for Punjab and has been on a similar track about Rajasthan. Can Dilli control and run the Gullies of India when the competitors are fierce enough to traverse even the smallest muddy roads of the colonies? Probably the BJP and the AAP have understood this well. They are ready to soil their shoes and toil hard in the field. Congress still feels that it is voters' loss if they fail to get elected to power.

Politics of entitlement should now rest in peace. As citizens, we no longer desire high command formulas applied for states with distinct issues. Come down; understand our varied issues; study our problems. Offer solutions; present good candidates; deny tickets to the ones who have failed; do not dump 'family raj' on our head; we disgust it.

Every party in the state shall appreciate these sentiments; irrespective of whether you are in the ruling or the opposition. Congress needs to grasp this reality sooner because when you fail as an effective opposition, more than the beating for the party, it is a colossal loss for our democracy. And we, the people of Goa, can no longer tolerate further losses of our trust and dignity.

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