Congress leaders were quick to actively respond to the killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri district, Uttar Pradesh. To protest against her detention in Sitapur, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not hesitate to pick up the broomstick to “clean” the guest house, the video of which soon went viral. Rahul and Priyanka’s determination not to give in to attempts to prevent reaching Lakhimpur and meeting the relatives of those killed received extensive media coverage. Perhaps, stunned by a sudden turnaround in the political news of two siblings, BJP leaders had to give in to their demand to visit Lakhimpur. Paradoxically, although the Congress base in the UP is extremely weak, party leaders seem to have acted fairly wisely, leaving nothing to chance in responding to the Lakhimpur Kheri affair. For now, one cannot expect that the communication strategies implemented here will be of great help to the Congress doing well in the UP Assembly elections. But yes, these have certainly dampened the noise made about Congress in the face of a major crisis, weak leadership and so on in connection with Punjab politics. Congress has a lot at stake in Punjab but almost nothing in UP. And that requires deliberation from another side of the congressional policy displayed in the UP and the Punjab. Obviously, Congress seems without any strong regional leaders in UP. The situation is the opposite in the Punjab. Also, the chances that the BJP will soon be ousted from power in UP seem remote, the same can be said of its takeover in Punjab. It is no wonder that Congress is faced with a dilemma in the Punjab, seen through the “democratic” prism. It is questionable whether or not the Congressional high command “made a mistake” in giving too much importance to the regional leaders of the Punjab, especially Navjot Singh Sidhu. From a democratic standpoint, perhaps, the leaders of Congress could not afford to ignore the way Sidhu was raising his voice and receiving media coverage as well.
Yet, it seems, the Gandhi siblings have chosen not to give in to all of Sidhu’s political crises. This was reflected in the choice of a less expected person to succeed Captain Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi. It is possible that the negative criticism faced by the leaders of Congress, due to Sidhu’s political style, made the Gandhi siblings a little wiser not to give too much political space to party politicians who like to do too much noise and who are also experts at winning media. blanket. Of course, the situation would have been different if Sidhu hadn’t been a celebrity and skillful enough to get media attention in his direction.
Furthermore, media attention can never be a guarantee of winning electoral support. Presumably, this reality warned the Gandhi family in choosing not to give in to Sidhu’s desire to succeed Captain Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister of the Punjab. This would have irritated the captain even more, whose wife Preneet Kaur is congressman of the district of Patiala. While expressing concern over her husband’s “humiliation” in the party, she made it clear that she was not leaving Congress “yet”. In addition, congressional leaders cannot ignore the strong support the captain enjoys among protesting farmers and in the Punjab. The negative campaign waged against him by Sidhu and his political camp is unlikely to turn the voters against the captain.
The captain did not refrain from sending red flags to the Congressional High Command during his meetings with Home Secretary Amit Shah and later with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The prospects for the BJP to make gains in Punjab on their own are extremely limited. Nonetheless, party leaders will be elated if Congress does not return to power. In all likelihood, the captain is the least likely to reveal his real political plans until the very last minute. He will keep his own cards close to his chest and observe Sidhu’s “tactics” meticulously, with his priorities likely to be decided by the latter’s success / failure. Compared to Sidhu, Captain is a much more seasoned politician and is apparently more confident in his political strategies without relying primarily on noise and media coverage.
Despite all the criticism that congressional leaders face about their “handling” of the Punjab crisis, there is another angle to this. Democratically speaking, would it have been fair of them to rule out Sidhu? In all likelihood, the situation may have worsened, possibly leading to a more pronounced split within the Punjab wing of Congress. The same was apparently avoided with the captain’s resignation, although this decision could have been better handled. Likewise, the selection of his successor can also be seen as a clever electoral strategy, from two angles: that of playing on the Dalit vote bank and, on the other hand, not to further alienate Captain Amarinder Singh. .
Paradoxically, while the Gandhi family have not been spared by critics for their handling of the Punjab crisis, little importance has been placed on the limited options available to them and the democratic cards exercised in the process. Interestingly, their handling of the Lakhimpur Kheri affair has earned them laurels. Their movements, especially of Priyanka using a broom, certainly went a long way in improving their democratic image. Certainly, the “democratic” cards exercised by the party high command seem to have limited relevance when viewed in light of the fact that the party leadership is confined to the Gandhi family. This can be analyzed from two angles. Their decision to step down is likely to lead to quarrels within parties at all levels. The party crisis observed in Punjab can be replayed in all states and of course at the national level. Moreover, if instead of the Gandhi siblings, other party members had come forward in Lakhimpur-Kheri, the decisions of Congress probably would not have attracted much attention. Furthermore, given the nature of the “dictates” issued by the central leadership of the BJP, adherence to at least some democratic standards by congressional leaders should not be ignored.


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