Bengaluru: Justice Chandrachud of the Supreme Court had once famously remarked “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy”. 

But apply it to the functioning of the grand old party and dissent becomes a ticket to exit, ignominy and punitive measure.
Dissent, surely, the Congress abhors! 

The recent development in which as many as 23 leaders wrote to the AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, seeking several changes – from elections to CWC to change in party leadership – exposed the turbulence in the party. 

Rather than taking the letter as a signal to ring in changes and rectify mistakes, the Congress might use it as a sickle to stymie and suffocate free thinking within the party. 

But punishing party members with different views is nothing new for the Congress. 

Just months ago, Sanjay Jha, an outspoken spokesperson was expelled from the party for airing his dissenting views as a punishment. 

Earlier today, senior leader Digvijay Singh stated that the letter should not have been written and leaked to the media. 

On the day of the CWC meeting, another senior leader Ahmed Patel criticised Anand Sharma, another senior for drafting the dissent letter. 

On his part, Anand Sharma defended himself on social media. 

Now, reports are coming in that several leaders want these dissenters to be pulled up for their move. 

Sources say that another senior leader Ambika Soni sought tough measures against those who signed the letter. The move was supported by several others. 

This move to seek punitive measures is being seen as vindictiveness for questioning the Gandhi family. 

Furthermore, the move to douse dissent is seen as a move to seeing no challenges for the post of president, if at all such a situation comes up. 

Digressing a little from party politics, Congress also doesn’t like the media questioning it. Just a few months ago, Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami was targeted as he sought a condemnation by Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the Palghar lynchings. 

As many as 200 FIRs were filed against him!