30 July, 2021

Saffron Edge In The West

Wracked by infighting, the Congress floors most of its chances

Saffron Edge In The West
IS the sun about to set on the Congress in the West? Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa may be as different as chalk from cheese and cashew on the Indian political smorgasbord. But as campaigning enters its last week, the three states in their own ways are beginning to mirror all that is wrong with the century-old party in the region of its birth.

The big-two western states have benefited the most from the Narasimha Rao Government's economic reforms. But the party has not been able to cash in. Worse, sent hurtling to defeat in the assembly elections, the party machinery has gone to seed. Its leaders have been busy playing petty little games of oneupmanship. The shortcomings of the ruling dispensations have been left unexploited. Result: there is little to look forward to for Rao's beleaguered organisation except to hope and pray that things will not get any worse.

The scenario is bleak any which way you look at it. In Maharashtra, where the party held 38 seats, Congress leaders privately admit that they may retain less than 25. Independent political observers say its chances...

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