15 June, 2021

Betrayal Or Sabotage?

The high command fumes at Pawar as the Rajya Sabha debacle ruins the state unit's chances to take on the Sena

Betrayal Or Sabotage?

A season of success. And, then, a shock defeat. The string of victories for the Congress steered by Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha polls only three months ago have paled in the investigations after the defeat of Sonia Gandhi's hand-picked candidate, Ram Pradhan, for the Rajya Sabha.

In the wake of the Maharashtra bungle, a three-member team sent by Sonia Gandhi—A.K. Antony, Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy and Rajesh Pilot—began investigating why Pradhan, whose victory should have been a certainty, was defeated by party MLAs who voted against him. Suddenly, the state Congress was back to its old confused status with allegations and counter-allegations being traded by different factions. A familiar bickering had brought the Congress to its doom in Maharashtra, helping the Sena-BJP combine sail to power.

While Pawar's role is being questioned by the party president, indications in New Delhi are that the Congress cannot afford to corner the Maratha stalwart beyond a point. The showcause notice issued to his associate,...

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