Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Congress MLAs in Orissa could not have been elected had the organizational leadership of Congress not given them the Party Tickets and had the people of the Constituencies they represent not preferred the manifesto offered by the Party’s organizational leadership.
It is obfuscating that, the same MLAs are misleading themselves to believe that their future depends upon revolting against the organizational leadership of the Congress.
Their target is the PCC President Prasad Harichandan. When Harichandan was picked up for the provincial top post of the Party, there was no better candidate available and had he not been subjected to constant conspiracies by selfish elements in the party, the organization could have surged ahead with spectacular success. His performances as a member of the Assembly and as a minister were so splendid and spotless that they can always be cited as exemplary for others in politics. Why the MLAs are united against him is a conundrum. Inferiority complex may be a reason.
However, the delegates of the Congress high-command must have, by now, given their report and if the same would have been based on unbiased observations, the high-command should have come to know, how disrespectful are the MLAs towards the organization. It is dangerous for democracy if a legislative group is encouraged to assert as independent of the provincial leadership of the party.
Personally I have no sympathy for the party of Manmohan Singh. Yet, to me, Orissa at the present juncture needs the Congress. It is either the last hope or lost hope.
Therefore, as a concerned citizen of the State, I would like to speculate what would happen to Congress if its high-command succumbs to the trade-union-like-pressure of the group of MLAs, who claim and show that , not the PCC leader, but the leader of the legislative wing is their leader; and replace Prasad with somebody else. My honest and well-studied view is that, with Prasad jettisoned, Congress shall suffer the worst ever imaginable debacle in the coming election.
Prasad is too gentle and erudite to be having any caste bias. But, majority of Orissa’s conscious and conscience-keeping population belong to the Khandait and cultivators communities, who are people of the middle-income class, with their pride in caste distinctions. They shall feel injured beyond repair, if Prasad, for no fault of him, but for inferiority complex of economic elites, would be jettisoned at this stage. And the cultivating class, by caste mostly Khandaits in Orissa, are the only ones that support the Congress consciously. They shall, I am sure, be ready to avenge.
Congress would be the worst sufferer if Prasad is made to relinquish the PCC post. And, then it would be no good for Orissa. But, choice is theirs.