New Delhi. BJP has decided to change the Chief Minister in Gujarat. In such a situation, Vijay Rupani has resigned from the post. There is a simple calculation behind the sudden change of chief ministers of three electoral states for the BJP. This includes ignoring the words of opponents, removing such chief ministers who can be a problem during elections and winning elections with this change. TMC and Congress have targeted BJP due to removal of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. But BJP cannot be careless.
This brings us to the issue of almost a similar situation in some Congress ruled states which are facing internal opposition. Punjab is the best example of this. Over 32 MLAs visited Delhi to tell the Congress leadership that contesting the elections under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh would mean a definite loss. Top Congress leaders were in turmoil and could only come out with the appointment of Captain’s arch rival Navjot Singh Sidhu as the state president. But this has increased the split in the state Congress and now both the parties have joined the game of dominating each other.
Similar is the situation in two other Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. For the time being, the Gandhi family has managed to cover up the fight between Baghel vs TS Singh Deo, but it is clear that both are in no mood to accept. Both the leaders are under surveillance but replacing OBC leader Baghel at the time of UP, Punjab and Uttarakhand elections may not be easy.
Rahul Gandhi had admitted that he had promised a rotation system and felt that it should be respected. But Sonia Gandhi and her advisors understood the political repercussions and the decision was put on hold. But for how long? In Rajasthan too, the Gehlot vs Pilot story is yet to end with the long-promised and awaited cabinet reshuffle and it can be said that it may not be easy for Gehlot to get the support of majority of the MLAs.
All these states will eventually have elections with a confused leadership. It will take a lot of courage to change leadership. But more than that, it will require a strong central leadership. The underlying fact of change of chief ministers by the BJP in Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Gujarat is a strong central leadership. In all these states the change has been swift, sudden and unfollowed with any protests. What his central leadership said was the last word.
But the reality with the Congress is that the party’s central leadership is not focused. He is weak and unable to stretch his muscles. The case of Chhattisgarh, where Rahul Gandhi could not keep his word, is a living example of this. Sometimes the central leadership needs to show that they are the masters and have the power to hold the group together. But it is the loss-battered, faltering decisions that have weakened the Gandhi family.
The past haunts again. When there were several allegations that Tarun Gogoi was treating his party’s opponents ruthlessly and did not allow parallel power centers to develop, the Gandhi family refused to heed the complaints.
The story of Himanta Biswa Sarma cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Sarma often used to say privately that while he did not want to replace Gogoi as the CM of Assam, he wanted him to be given some importance and made him the head of the Pradesh Congress Committee. Sarma said, ‘He preferred to pay attention to his pet Pidi more than me’. Today Sarma is the Chief Minister of Assam and the Congress can be easily ousted from the state in the near future. Because TMC is clearly eyeing it.
Going back to history after YSR’s death, Congress changed chief ministers, but they were experiments in trouble. From K Rosaiah to Kiran Reddy, no CM could match YSR’s hold. Today YSR’s son is the CM of Andhra Pradesh but an enemy of Congress. In fact, recently when several MLAs gave feedback to Rahul Gandhi that Narayanasamy is unpopular and that he should be replaced if Congress has to win elections, no decision was taken on it. After this, once again the Congress lost the election.
For any political party, winning an election is its litmus test. If BJP is able to grab power in the three states where chief ministers have changed, then this experiment will prove to be correct. It will once again show that the Congress is taking a nap after not seeing the writing on the wall at the right time and the Gandhi family cannot be accused of prioritizing victory.
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