04 December, 2020

Carry On Coalition

It has always liked to go it alone. Can it hunt with a pack of motley partners?

Jitender Gupta
Carry On Coalition
As the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) gets down to the business of governance after a week of birth pangs, the Congress, heading a conglomerate of such varied hues for the first time, is gearing up to face an all-new set of political challenges. It must maintain a frictionless coalition by keeping its allies happy and at the same time work towards reviving the Congress in a coalition environment—at the expense of those same allies. "Look at the map of India. In large parts of the country, we don't have a presence. That's the challenge," says party strategist Jairam Ramesh.

Congress leaders say the message from 10, Janpath is clear: there's no room for complacency. Even though it is peacetime, the party isn't shutting down its war rooms. Congress president Sonia Gandhi's promised "mahasangharsh (grand struggle)" to re-establish the party and change the face of the Indian polity has a large number of takers in the organisation. The key players in the Congress election campaign, particularly the core committee which manned the crisis councils, have stayed in the...


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