‘Rahul Gandhi did his job, but who will follow up?”

NEW DELHI: After the end of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir, Congress leaders claim that the momentum in the party created by Gandhi’s visit to the state should have been used to infuse motivation among the rank and file. However, the party has been “inactive” since the end of the yatra.
A Congress district president in the state said, “Rahul Gandhi did his job, but the question is who will follow up, who will send the message across that these are the lines that the party leaders have to work up for.” Senior leaders blame the slow decision-making and laid back approach of the state leadership for the current state of affairs. Party insiders say that most of those who were chosen as AICC members from the state did not even have the basic membership of the party. Currently, there are 43 elected AICC members and 12 co-opted from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The district president further added, “The chosen members for AICC are those who are close to the state president and many of them are even non-political, they have little or distant association with the mechanism of politics.”
Moreover, according to sources privy to the developments, Congress loyalists have been side-lined; also, those leaders who have connect with the grassroots are no more given importance. A party leader said, “If people whom nobody knows and have less political acumen than those who have worked on the ground sincerely and have connect with the masses, are given responsibilities, how would the party perform better electorally?” Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former Congress veteran, left the party and launched his own political organisation. Many Congress leaders had deserted the party and joined Azad’s Democratic Azad Party (DAP). However, a considerable chunk has returned, a party leader said. “Those who left the party and showed that they have no love for the Congress ideology and would not stand for the party but for particular leaders, are being treated more nicely compared to those who stayed with the party in its tough time and allowed the party to resist the impact of top leaders switching sides.”
Meanwhile, all other major parties, according to Congress leaders, are continuing to connect with the masses and are busy in holding meetings, trying to plan out strategy for the coming Assembly elections. A senior Congress leader said, “The PDP has also started holding meetings, but our party is confused with its prospects, they are not sure whether they have to contest elections or not, they don’t seem to know what to do at the moment or at any moment.”