Bengaluru: Do we see the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia as a case in isolation or is it the start of a procession in the Congress?

There is already talk that the likes of Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora may follow suit, although both have denied such claims. In Scindia, the Congress lost one of its most prominent faces and this makes it clear that the party is in doldrums and it is highly doubtful that it would be able to pull itself out of this slump anytime soon. MyNation caught up with leading psephologist, Dr Sandeep Shastri to discuss the ongoing political crisis. He says that these incidents only go on to show the volume of drift within the Congress.

Prized catch:

Scindia’s resignation is a prized catch for the BJP. This could be the start of many other leaders in the Congress taking the exit route. Scindia was someone who was a close confidante of Rahul Gandhi. He was a deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and also a Cabinet minister in the Union Government at a very young age, says Dr Shastri.
If such a person gets weaned away, then it only speaks volumes about the Congress. The critics may say that Scindia was being selfish. We need to recognise the fact that the rest of his family is with the BJP. There were differences emerging within the Congress and the party did nothing about it. It was a scenario where the ostrich put its head into the sand and said that there was no problem. For the BJP on the other hand, it is beyond a doubt, a prized catch, Dr Shastri says.

The Congress’ downfall:

Ever since the Congress was routed in 2014, it has made no effort to gear itself up from the defeat. The party is only sinking lower and lower. Clearly the central leadership of the party has not been able to give direction to the party and also assert discipline, adds Sandeep Shastri.

The unity in the Congress in the past has always been due to its high command. It would ensure that various decisions were implemented by all. The writ of the high command does not seem to run anymore, he further adds.

The decisions of the high command are neither implemented nor endorsed. What happened in Madhya Pradesh is a clear symptom of that. It is the ability of the leadership to get a grip over the party that has allowed this drift. Ultimately one of the biggest leaders in the party quit the Congress, Dr Shastri says. If the central leadership continues to bury its head in the sand, then there is a red flag for the party.

No acceptability:

There seems to be a coterie of advisors in the Congress who are not in touch with the ground reality. These people have not won elections for decades. Many are in an age group, who cannot relate to the next generation.

Take Karnataka for instance. It has been so long since the KPCC president has resigned. Has it been accepted, is there any plan in place to replace him? No one knows and this explains the state of the drift. Today there is no leadership and with the passage of time the acceptability is disappearing.
The Congress is a junior partner in Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Even when the BJP encounters a stiff challenge, it is because of other parties. The Congress has lost that central space to lead an anti BJP coalition, Dr Shastri says.

BJP will rule:

I think it is very clear that in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress government will fall and the BJP will be back in power. Scindia may be rehabilitated at the national level. But look at what the Congress has lost. It has lost a top leader and is about to lose a government in one of India’s biggest states.
Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot are old school politicians. When the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were won by the Congress, Rahul Gandhi was in charge. Despite that, the old guard did not allow a change. Gehlot and Kamal Nath becoming chief ministers is a clear reflection of thatm says Dr Shastri.

Start of a procession:

Do we look at the resignation of Scindia in isolation or do we say it is the beginning of a procession. There is already talk about the likes of Pilot and Deora following suit. These people are suffocated in the party.

Rajasthan is witnessing a similar problem like Madhya Pradesh. Since day one Pilot has not been on the same page as Gehlot. Is there any damage control that is taking place? The Congress is not coming out of its stupor and is in a state of paralysis.

Both Scindia and Pilot have worked hard during the elections and even led it. But when push came to shove, they were ignored. They were only asking for their dues. If this stupor in the Congress continues, then you will soon witness a procession, Dr Sandeep Shastri also says.