Ashwani Kumar’s exit: Will the Congress wake up at least now?

With Ashwani Kumar also deciding to call it quits, the Congress would want to have a rethink on party affairs

Yet another wicket has fallen for the grand old party.  With former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar also deciding to call it quits, the Congress would need to look back at its innings of late, in a much more serious manner.

When Kumar, a minister in the erstwhile Manmohan Singh cabinet, and Sonia Gandhi loyalist, walks out of the party fold after having served it for more than 40 years, it indeed means that issues inside the party are much more than what meet the eye.

Ashwani Kumar has called it quits after he was convinced that that the party has reached a stage where he can’t take it anymore. As a senior member, he has also been convinced that the party has turned irrelevant and that it has begun its downward slide.

The letter of resignation send to Sonia Gandhi makes it very clear that his decision to quit has been consistent with his dignity. Also, when he points out that the future leader projected by the party is someone who is unacceptable to the people of the country, he seemed to have aimed at Rahul Gandhi. He has also made it public that he would be pursuing public causes inspired by the idea of transformative leadership.

Ashwani Kumar’s exit a blow for the Congress

At a time when the Congress party doesn’t have an alternative to offer in terms of governance, it is quite natural that senior leaders would be on the way out.  Sadly, it is the only the Congress leadership that fails to pick up the hints.  Ashwani Kumar is also of the opinion that many senior leaders do think the same as he does.

With Kumar’s exit, the Congress desperately would want to stem the slide. But the party is of course all at sea. In the recent past, we had seen many leaders, such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, R P N Singh, Sushmita Dev, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Laliteshpati Tripathi, and more recently former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh walking out of the party.  

Ashwani Kumar calling it quits comes at a crucial phase for the Congress. His home state Punjab is going to the polls in a few days, and the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to return to power. However, post exit of Amarinder Singh and the Navjot Singh-Sidhu-Charanjit Singh Channi episodes of tussle and more, the party knows it is on a sticky wicket.

Ashwani Kumar’s resignation comes a s bolt from the blue for Sonia Gandhi, as he was one who stood by her when 23 senior leaders in the party urged her to usher in sweeping changes in the party. The man who then stated that the issues can only be addressed with Sonia Gandhi as leader. And now, the scene has changed.

Congress no more the mouthpiece of national aspirations

Alleging that the Congress party is no more the mouthpiece of national aspirations, he added that the party also does not promise a transformative leadership to the nation. He also called for a “truly collective leadership structure in which seniority and merit would be given due respect and the elders are not denuded of their dignity”.

Now, that is something the Congress shies away from even thinking of! Will the party sit idle when more leaders of prominence announce their exit? It hasn’t done anything even after so many have quit. It may continue with what it has being doing even after the resignation of Ashwani Kumar.

As for Kumar, is he eyeing a place in the BJP? Going by his words soon after the resignation, it is not likely. But we never know how things change in the political arena.

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