Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Congress is not a party of democratic centralism. But its members are apt to accept whatever direction its “boss” in the Center issues.

Congress is a conundrum in Indian politics. It has support base in every category of Indian population and has a massive number of senior members with outstanding expertise and experience in administration. But these members are too docile to assert themselves as leaders in a democracy. The anti-nation steps of Dr. Man Mahan Singh in the matter of nuke deal with USA is not being resented to by any in the Congress because only of this docility.

This docility is so very infectious that even in the provincial level where politics is bound to be people-linked and practical, leaders are “appointed” instead being elected.

But the matter never ends in such appointments. The boss appoints an agent to monitor the “loyalty” of the “appointed” leaders of the provinces and the test of loyalty is taken on unquestioned acceptance of central command even if that hampers the party interests in the province.

The absolutely anti-people Naveenraj is continuing in Orissa because the Congress in this province could not refuse the “loyalty test” at the time of election to the Assembly last time.

A man, rejected by the people of Madhya Pradesh due to his misrule, Dig Vijay Singh, was appointed as the agent of Congress High Command to “guide” Orissa Congress leaders to gain back power. And, Singh guided the Congress in Orissa so ably that corrupt fellows jettisoned by BJD became its first choice as candidates in nerve-center constituencies. Had it not happened like this, the Congress would have been elected with absolute majority, as the people of Orissa were eager to terminate the Naveen misrule. But the Congress agent toppled the peoples’ desire.

The same thing is going to happen again.

Congress has a new agent in comparatively a more greenhorn Ajay Maken, who has recently been put in charge of Orissa.

And, on his first visit to this state, he has ruined whatever confidence in Congress the people were trying to put in order to strengthen it to end the Naveen misrule. He has made the people of Orissa grasp that the provincial leadership of Congress may be changed at any time.

Is the Congress going to gain when its leaders do not know for how long they can last in their posts and when the agent of its own High Command openly provides the public with enough material to infer that the top boss of Congress has no stable confidence in the provincial leaders?

And what a message Maken has transmitted!

A party that would seek electoral mandate to strengthen democracy has no willingness to have any democratic practice in its own organization! Bah!

Had he any tactfulness, he would not have said what he has said. It is a shame that the Congress High Command has handed over Orissa’s charges to a tactless fellow, when people of Orissa are actively contemplating to accept Congress in order to get rid of the Naveen misrule.

Congress may be a party of sycophants or a party of factotums of Sonia Gandhi. But as long as it is in the register of the Election Commission as a political party the people of Orissa have every right to use it as a medium to terminate the Naveen misrule and hence, Maken and any Subedar of his likes, or his or their boss at Delhi should have no right to play any such trick that may destabilize its usefulness for the people.

The Congress High Command should clarify as to whether Maken was authorized to say what he has said. If he was not authorized to inject such a sense of insecurity into the psyche of the present leadership of the province at a time when Naveen has already launched electioneering in guise of public relation campaign, he should immediately be withdrawn.

Otherwise it would be clear that Congress is not keen in helping people of Orissa get rid of Naveen misrule. Naveen is an active facilitator of plutocracy that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh are evidently so eager to establish in India. Banners may be different. But there is no difference in purpose. Congress President Sonia and Prime Minister Singh cannot get a better collaborator than Naveen in cause of plutocracy and hence they had deliberately helped Naveen to win in the last election by causing confusion in public mind through Dig Vijay Singh. This time, they are perhaps using Maken.

That despite banner differences, Sonia-Singh combine is one with Naveen is inferable from National Banks writing off loan amount to the tune of 2,300 crore of Rupees outstanding against the firms owned by BJD M.P. Baijayant Panda under pressure from the central government.

It is time, the Election Commission must come forward to declare the political parties including the Congress illegal if they do not honor internal democracy in management of their organizations and continue to dwarf democracy under predominance of a single person that “appoints” office-bearers instead of allowing members to elect them.

Till it happens, the genuine members of Congress in Orissa must allow themselves to understand that Maken, if allowed to utter whatever he likes, would ruin the congress prospects like Dig Vijay Singh had done. And, in interest of the people, if they are really interested for the people, they should assert their right to be democratic.

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