View: With the enforced resignation of Amarinder Singh, the Congress has shot itself within the foot

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The Congress has scored a self-goal in Punjab, and it has carried out it by exhibiting Amarinder Singh the door. The state’s MLAs wished him to get replaced due to the anti-incumbency in opposition to him. However certainly, he couldn’t be unpopular and the Congress very talked-about?

It’s true that MLAs have been sad with Singh’s lack of entry. However that has been his fashion of functioning for many years, even because it has made it simpler for the Congress central management to behave in opposition to him. It’s hardly a secret that the Congress ‘excessive command’ was not joyful along with his ‘autonomous’ methods of functioning — not attending conferences for which he was referred to as in Delhi, and so on. The management in Delhi clearly wished to clip his wings.

Until six months in the past, a Congress victory in Punjab in 2022 was seen as a foregone conclusion. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was not selecting up regardless of its de-hyphenation with the BJP and tie-up with the BSP. The BJP was a non-starter and the Aam Admi Occasion (AAP), whereas making progress, had no clear face to steer it. In the present day, it seems, it’s Congress MLAs who’re filled with trepidation.

If there’s a message coming by way of the Punjab developments, it’s this: the writ of ‘excessive command’ has to run. And that the Gandhis are in no temper to relinquish the social gathering’s management, even when it means management of just one or two riyasats as an alternative of the entire nation. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi seem to have been suggested that they need to set up the central Congress’ supremacy first. Solely then can different adjustments observe.

The Punjab Plan appears to be the brainchild of election strategist Prashant Kishor. His conferences with Rahul, Priyanka and Sonia Gandhi, and the thrill that he shall be advising the social gathering — and even becoming a member of it — tagged along with his resignation as Singh’s advisor, and the choice to parachute the ceaselessly ‘commentating’ Navjot Singh Sidhu into Punjab to tackle and upstage the Captain, all level to this risk.

Gandhi & Co. Very Ltd

All of the Punjab MLAs wouldn’t have attended the final Congress Legislative Occasion (CLP) assembly, referred to as to oust Singh, if not for the backing of the central management. Singh noticed the writing on the wall and resigned. In consequence, the message is evident for ‘rebellious’ Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and for Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who has not heeded the excessive command’s recommendation to accommodate MLAs loyal to Sachin Pilot.

Narendra Modi can ship three chief ministers packing in a row and eliminate your complete cupboard in Gujarat as a result of his writ runs within the social gathering. That’s potential as a result of he retains successful elections for the BJP — when the social gathering wins them. The Gandhis now not win elections for the Congress. For that purpose, they need to undertake a unique method — to take everybody alongside, to be extra accessible, and be accommodative. However…

After a lot toing and froing, Charanjit Singh Channi — a Dalit Sikh — would be the new CM of Punjab. Dalits represent 33% of Punjab’s inhabitants. Although Sidhu didn’t get chief ministership, Channi had labored with Sidhu to dethrone Singh. How Jat Sikhs, who’ve usually led the state, react to this improvement stays to be seen.

A khichdi has been put rather than a frontrunner with stature and 52 years of political expertise. A lesser-known CM, assisted by two deputy CMs, a celebration president who’s assisted by 4 government presidents and 4 advisors — that is the brand new Congress workforce that can now take the social gathering into elections in 4 months’ time in Punjab. What’s the extent to which the Captain can harm Sidhu? And the Congress? If Sidhu through Channi takes the social gathering to victory, he’ll clearly be a front-runner for chief ministership.

On The Playing cards

Amarinder Singh has performed two playing cards. One, he has determined to play the sufferer. He talked repeatedly about his ‘humiliation’ by the hands of Delhi’s Gandhis. It stays to be seen whether or not it garners him widespread sympathy. He has not, importantly, dominated out quitting the Congress. He can at all times be part of fingers with the BJP, which is enjoying up his woes. If the BJP decides to heed his voice in resolving the farmers’ situation, issues may begin to search for for each — he a Jat Sikh ‘wronged chief’, and the BJP representing city Hindu Punjab.

However then does Singh have the urge for food to create a brand new social gathering at his age — 79 — now that he has prevented Sidhu from changing into CM?

Calling Sidhu ‘anti-national’ is the second card Singh has up his sleeve, highlighting the previous’s ‘embrace’ of Pakistani military chief Qamar Javed Bajwa at Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony in August 2018. What’s to stop the BJP, say, utilizing pictures from that event to color the Congress as ‘anti nationwide’ (learn: ‘pro-Pakistani’) and create a story that turns into emotive even past Punjab, say, in a poll-going state like UP?

There are lots of imponderables in Punjab at the moment. Solely ballot outcomes will resolve the victor and the vanquished. However one factor is evident: the Congress has shot itself within the foot.

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